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The Parable of Farmer Jim
Sat, 29 Aug 2015 14:25:34

There once was a farmer named Jim who ran a simple, humble farm on the edge of the little village of Dorston Way. Every day he rose with the sun and tended his farm, feeding his animals, tending his crops and seeing to the maintenance of his equipment and buildings. He was a quiet man and didn't say much, but faithfully went about his duties every day with neither pomp, nor fanfare. One day a servant of the king came and announced that he, the king, would come soon, on a day that no man knew, to inspect the village and award his servants according to their works. Those who did the best would be awarded the most. However, they were to be aware that nobody knew, not even him, the exact date when the king would come, so all should remain busy until the king came. At first everyone obeyed this command and went about their work eagerly, putting their full energy into the their work to show themselves worthy to the king.

Everyone, that is, except farmer Jim. He already put his best into every day, always seeking to make his farm as good as his simple hands could make it. However, as time went on hard work and careful responsibility were replaced by the adorning of barns and the dressing up animals in silly outfits and crazy hairdos in an effort to impress the king when he came that year. But time passed, winter came, and yet the king didn't come. Eventually time and the weather dulled the paint on the barns and caused the animals to lose their manufactured beauty, leaving them looking worse than they had before. But nothing changed at Jim's place. Thing were pretty much as they had been from the start. From the day he took ownership of his farm, although his ways were clumsy at first, he'd worked hard to be the best farmer he could be. Not the prettiest or the fanciest, but rather simply the best he could be at the occupation he'd chosen to undertake.

The following spring another man, one who claimed to be a servant of the king, but clearly a man with other motives in mind, arrived in the village and declared great things to them. "The king is coming! Prepare ye the way of your lord!" he cried. And the people all leapt with joy! The king was coming! Immediately they went back to their beautifications and again prepared spectacularly for his soon arrival. Barns were again painted, animals dressed up, and many clothed themselves like noblemen and women even though they lived on a pauper's wage. But again, as before, the king didn't come, and the people were broken hearted about it. Even worse, they were now twice as poor and extremely late in planting their crops. Due to this some suffered great loss because the lateness of their planting caused the surprise earliness of fall to ravage their crops. Many who were already poor became even more destitute because of this, far more even than before they planted.

Only farmer Jim had a good harvest that year, and it made him a grand fortune, ...(read more)

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