In my neck of the woods, I’m guessing the farmers will be planting corn in the next few weeks. It must be harvest time somewhere not too far from here, though, because I saw ears of corn for 18 cents a piece today at the store. Now, I’m sure you’re asking the question, “why is he talking about corn?” Good question, and it just so happens I have a good answer 🙂
I took this story about making decisions from a book entitled Close To The Heart, written by Margaret Silf. It’s a nice little book on prayer.
A farmer friend told me one day that according to an old tradition, the cut corn at harvest time was supposed to lie in the fields to dry until the church bells had rung across it three times, that is, three Sundays.
As my friend gave me this piece of wisdom, the phrase cut and dry came to my mind. It made me wonder about my own was of discerning things and making decisions. I saw that my decisions and so-called discernments usually get cut and gathered on the same day, with no time for maturing- so sure am I of my own judgments.
But the habit of reflection can make a difference. It can slow us down just long enough to make a short space of time after prayer “for the corn to dry” before we rush off to meet the demands of the day. It provides an opportunity to let our own feelings about our prayer time come to the surface- a chance to stand back and notice how the time has been, gathering any fruits of that time that come to mind. It may be all we need to ensure that our prayer is not only cut but dried as well, so that it has time and space to mature and become more fully a part of our lives.
Just yesterday, I was speaking to a friend about a situation he found himself in. He needed to take care of some issues, and as we talked, it became clear to both of us that he needed to take his time and not rush things. Do you share with me the experience of realizing that so many mistakes in life are made when we make decisions too quickly, not thinking of all the consequences of our choices?
Now I know where the old saying about something being cut and dry comes from. I’m planning on using it a bit more often.