Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Fallow Fields: Why You Need Down Time

I originally posted this in October 2008 on a blog I used to write for, but is no longer in existence.

A recent trip took me took me to the small farming community in Southern Indiana where my grandparents live. Grandpa is a farmer and has been all his life. I am a city girl, but over the years have learned a little about farming.

With the end of the summer growing season some of the fields are still full of their bounty and others have been harvested. All that remains in those harvested fields are the dried stalks of what was previously growing there. They are brown and seem somewhat desolate. They aren’t as vibrant and beautiful as fields in full bloom.
I spent a week in the area and drove by one such harvested field as I came and went from the place I was staying. Every time, the words of a song came to mind. It was written by Roger Hutley who was the Music Minister at the church I attended while living in Oregon. I can’t remember the whole song, but I do remember the song asking God to break up the fallow ground in my heart.

With these words running through my head I began to think about those fields that will lay fallow now for a season or more. This is a common practice in farming since it allows the soil to replenish itself of the nutrients that are depleted while crops are growing. Time is needed for nature to run its course and rebuild.

The fields don’t look pretty while they lay dormant. They lack the vibrancy and color of a crop in full bloom. We tend to think of the growing fields as more alive and active. Yet that’s not necessarily so. The rebuilding and replenishing is an active process and is just as important for the health of a crop.

Our lives are like fields. We have times of great produce and harvest. We blossom and grow. Our lives are productive and God is able to use us. Don’t we all wish our lives could look like that all the time?

The truth is that we need the fallow times. When we are full of life and energy we give and that depletes us. It is the fallowness of our lives at times that allow God to replenish us and rebuild. He is just as active in those times and we are better for that activity. It allows us to blossom again in season.

The seasons come and go in our lives the same as in nature. We need both growth and rest to live a full Christian life. The next time you are fallow search out those ways that God is working to restore you and remember the giving season will come again.


  1. Thank you for reminding me of this. It seems I've been going through a "fallow" time recently.
    I need to remember that it is necessary.

  2. Yvonne, I know all to well fallow times can be frustrating and it's hard to remember that God is still working and that time is necessary. I'm glad this post was helpful for you.