Church Life, Outreach, Missions
Why Send Out Missionaries When There Are Needs Here?
by Ed Vasicek
Julius Grateman had bought his own farm. After being reared on reruns of
Green Acres, his dream of owning 100 acres in the heartland had come true.
But Julius was a perfectionist. He never moved on until he had done his very best in every area. His motto was, "Any job worth doing is worth doing well."
Julius had not married. He was in his mid-thirties, but he had not fully gotten his own life in perfect order. And, frankly, finding the perfect wife would be a tedious task for which he had no time.
Fall was turning into early winter, and Julius jumped right into the work; he was not lazy. His plan was simple: to perfect the first 5 acres of the farm and prepare for a small harvest that year, and then, when that land was perfected, to add an additional 5 acres per year.
Julius knew that stones worked against root production, so he took a rake and sifted through the soil day after day, sometimes sitting on the ground and sifting the dirt in his hands. In addition, he added perlite to add air to the soil, organic fertilizer and other trace elements. It cost him good money, but he plowed in peat moss and sphagnum moss. He perfected the ph in the soil. He graded the land so it was all level, rented a bobcat, and even used surveying equipment. Anything worth doing was worth doing well!
He studied the number of earthworms per square yard, and imported some more. He worked day and night, and when it finally came to plant the crops in the Spring, he had only prepared three acres.
He planted the seeds by hand, using a tape measure to assure that they were spaced perfectly. Rows were straight to perfection; he bought a new satellite device so rows were aligned perfectly toward the magnetic north. He added the exact amount of organic fertilizer.
His irrigation system was new and innovative. He studied gravity, capillary action, and organic ways to prevent mosquito breeding in the water.
As the crops began to sprout, he adjusted each one, using a tape measure, to its exact distance, and where a crop failed to sprout, he transplanted crops started in a small patch for that purpose.
As the crops grew, no weed, nor blade of grass could survive more than a day. To make the area more appealing, Julius added bird baths and resting benches. After all, things must also look neat.
It wasn't long until Julius realized he had to protect the crops from the birds and bugs, so he placed netting, neatly mounted to poles evenly spaced, over the entire area. He removed the netting in the area where he was working and inspected the leaves every day, searching for aphids and blight, plant by plant. Despite his efforts, he found plants which had died, and there some vacancies as a result . But it was too late in the season to transplant.
"Next year, I'll do better," he thought.
He had studied crop production, and realized he was still not maximizing harvest. He could still get more production per square foot, he concluded.
"I'll let the other land sit until I get this section producing at maximum," he determined. This went on all season, year after year, until he went bankrupt.
"Until I get this patch taken care of, as long as there are needs here, why worry about the rest of the land. I've got enough to keep me busy..." he had concluded. Julius is the Church in America. His 5 acres is America. The rest of the world are his other 95 acres. Do you espouse Julius' strategy?
Reprinted from the May 1999 Body Builder, a publication of Highland Park Church.
Highland Park Church
516 West Sycamore Street
Kokomo, Indiana, USA