I love hanging around farmers. They are so practical, so down to earth. Art is a pastor who grew up on a farm. He shared something about plowing that impacted me. He said one of the most important lessons he learned from his father was to stay focused on where you are heading and never look back.
My dad taught me as all farmers know, that when plowing, the first furrow plowed is the most important. Each time up and down the field you put the right wheels of the tractor into the previous furrow. That’s your guide. If you get the first furrow straight, the whole field will end up straight and square. If you get the first furrow crooked, every furrow after that will be crooked too. And if you get it crooked, it means a ton of time and work trying to straighten what is crooked.
Before he let me drive the tractor, my Dad repeatedly stressed that you should never look back when plowing. You should pick out a spot, such as a building or a tree at the end of the field (sometimes ¼ mile away or more) and never take your eyes off of it. Keep focused and never look back.
I thought, “How dumb! How are you going to know if you are plowing straight if you don’t look back sometimes to see how you’re doing?” Ignoring Dad’s advice I decided to do it my own way. As I drove, I looked back, to see if I was making a straight furrow. Problem is, you can’t steer very well looking back. You keep trying to jerk the wheel one way or another to overcompensate. As Ecclesiastes 1:15 says, “What is crooked cannot be straightened.”
Too many of us try to steer our lives by looking back. Yet Jesus teaches us, “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looks back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)
Are you constantly looking back? Focused on the past? – Turn around, see Jesus.
Are you regularly distracted? Constantly looking around? – Fix your eyes on the pioneer and perfecter or our faith – Jesus.
So, we do not look at what we can see right now, the troubles all around us, but we look forward to the joys in heaven which we have not yet seen. The troubles will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever. 2 Corinthians 4:18