I haven’t seen one of my neighbors in a while. And so when I met him changing a flat tire of his truck at the parking lot this morning, we had a chance to catch up on what has been going on for the last few months.
Well, my neighbor’s name is Joel and he has been in Narok town for a while. Narok is a farming town located some 2 hours drive from Nairobi. Narok is in the heart of the wheat producing region of Kenya, and I hear that it is dry and dusty. Apparently, it can be a shrewd business decision for anyone to lease land in which to farm wheat, and make a handsome profit from the venture. That is what Joel is currently doing.
I remember him telling me about it a few years ago. At that time, it was just an idea that he way toying around with. Talking with him today, it is easy to tell that experience has a way of bolstering the words that come from a man’s mouth. Joel now talks with the authority of a seasoned wheat farmer, complete with a dusty, weather beaten, all terrain truck to prove it.
Most of the small details about wheat farming that he mentioned with so much excitement I cannot remember. And as I said goodbye to Joel and went ahead to the shop to buy some breakfast, I wondered if this is a business I should consider getting into. But them I remembered that Joel told me that wheat season – from preparing the land for planting to harvesting – lasts a whole year. And that is when I saw the bread that I was holding absent mindedly, and realized that it has been a whole year in the making!
It has taken a whole year – and all those things that Joel informed me that go into wheat farming – for the bread I was about to eat to land on my table. And as I went ahead to have my breakfast, it occurred to me that each time that we pray the simply line of the Lord’s prayer; “Give us this day our daily bread…” we usually are asking for instant outcomes that usually require tremendous input from individuals like Joel and many other people for hundreds of days.
Most people are familiar with delayed prayers. Delayed prayers are the number one reason why people come out waving placards and protesting loudly (to anyone who will care to listen) about God’s unfairness. But what if the answer to our prayer is delayed because there were some unforeseen circumstances that Joel and his partners encountered in the current season, and they have to patiently wait until the next season before they can get a harvest? Or perhaps there is someone else who needs the bread as a matter of life and death and got preference over us? Or perhaps we took such a small thing as a loaf of bread for granted and forgot to give thanks?
Well, who knows? As I said, most of the details that Joel mentioned about wheat farming are still vague to me.