The
Desperate Agrarian?

Dateline: 23 June 2005

I told my wife, Marlene, that I had started my own Blog. But I did not tell her the name. Yesterday, while I was at work, she found the bookmark for The Deliberate Agrarian and came here to read my first few days of Blog entries.

Later, when I came home, during a family discussion of the day’s events, the subject of dad’s new blog came up. One of my children asked what the name of the Blog was. My wife replied, with a perfectly straight face, ”The Desperate Agrarian”.

I thought she was cracking a joke; making fun of the title. But she wasn’t. One of the kids then asked “What’s a desperate agrarian?” That’s when I piped in, a little exasperated, “It’s not the Desperate Agrarian, it’s The Deliberate Agrarian!”

With a shocked look on her face, Marlene exclaimed, “Oh! Did I really say desperate? I meant deliberate.” She quickly apologized and started laughing. I did too. It was funny. Good one, Marlene.

I have to say, this mistake on my dear wife’s part got me to thinking...... could it be that I really am a Desperate Agrarian? I headed for the dictionary....

I discovered that desperate means: “Having so little hope for improvement as to cause despair.” Then, while I was at it, I flipped ahead a few pages to the word, deliberate: “Carefully thought out or formed, premeditated, done on purpose.” Another definition was “slow, unhurried.”

I think it is a very good thing to define and understand these terms. And it made me feel better because I now know for certain that I am not a desperate agrarian. I am, most assuredly, a Deliberate Agrarian.

That said, I will admit that I do desire to live a much more agrarian lifestyle than I now do. As Marlene knows, I yearn for more land, and to stay home full time to work the land with my boys. And I know she yearns to have a big farm house. But we are not desperate.

We are actually very, very aware of, and thankful for, the blessings we have. Our house, though small (three boys in one room), is a home, in the finest sense of the word. Our land is small (one and a half acres) but it is sufficient to do a remarkable lot with, and we are not slaves to debt (which means, it’s paid for).

Furthermore, we are surrounded by woods and fields, with only one neighbor in sight, up the road. Our children are well adjusted, well behaved, well loved, and growing in their Christian faith. We work together as a family to produce our own food, take care of animals, chop wood, and do all the other things that, as I mentioned in my first Blog entry, make a life rich.

These things are done deliberately because this Agrarian Vision is, I believe, the vision God has given me for my family. It is for here and now.... kind of a “bloom where you’re planted” thing.

Oh sure, as I said, I’d like more, but I refuse to be consumed by desire (that is what leads to despair). Instead, I lift the desires of my heart up to the God of the universe, the One who has promised to meet every need of His children (and every need is met!), and I take comfort that Providence will dictate what is best for this family.

Perhaps I will never own more acreage. Perhaps I will always have to work away from home. Perhaps we will never have a bigger house. If so, I am okay with it.

Nevertheless, let me make it clear that I also will continue to work, and save, and plan in a deliberate manner, consistent with my beliefs.

I think that is what Christian Agrarian contentment is all about. I do not think, within the earthly realm, it gets much better than this.....



2 comments:

Ann said...

Was this directed at me? Haha. Thanks for some words I needed to hear.

JM said...

Herrick,

My sentiments exactly. I think the longing for more land (in a mature person) is really an expression of God's dominion mandate coming out of you. You don't seem driven and discontent. Hey it's paid for... What an accomplishment, praise the Lord!