By J. Stuart Holden
"He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap" (Eccles. 11:4).
There are deterrent influences which ceaselessly play upon Christian life to baffle and thwart its pledged purposes. Unfavourable winds and unseasonable clouds are apt to induce the thought that such unpropitious conditions call for prudence and justify cessation of field-service. How full of rebuke and how searchingly final is the prophet's comment: "He that observeth the wind shall not sow, and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap." And this trite maxim, a summary of the imperative law of all husbandry, is not just a bit of mere moralizing. It is a positively protective counsel. For a farmer who knows his business does not wait until an ideal day encourages his sowing. Of course he cannot afford to. The proper season is at hand; he sows his seed; and trusts the disintegrating and reintegrating forces of Nature to keep that which he commits to them against the coming autumn. Deterrent prudence would simply be costly faithlessness.
Indeed where God and man are in co-operation it always is. The fact is, every farmer is either a man of faith or a dead failure. So, too, our supreme life-duty must be carried on just as whole-heartedly, with just the same faith and courage, when conditions seem unpromising as when prospects flatter. If we wait for ideally favourable weather for the sowing of the good seed, for the investment of our lives in the field of human need and Divine fidelity we shall die waiting.