How to Have 2020 Vision in This Strange Time

Every morning I take a walk in the city and pass a spot where I can see a massive field of grain. As I top a hill it’s there. My entire vision fills with gold. Day by day whiter, riper, full of grain almost ready to be harvested.

It takes me back to those sticky walks with my dad into wheat fields tempting to be cut. My dad, his round belly stretching the bib on his OshKosh B’Gosh overalls, would break off a head from the stalk, rub it between his fingers and pop a kernel in his mouth, testing it for ripeness with a chew. Gluten free hadn’t been invented yet.

As the panorama of whitening fields met my eyes this morning, a verse so clear it could have been inscribed across the scene collided with the 2020 turmoil rolling in my mind and pressing in my heart. It wrote itself over ugly television images and news headlines.

“I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” John 4:35 (NIV)

They are ripe for harvest. Open your eyes.

Jesus’ words came to his disciples in an uncomfortable over their border spot. While most Jews skirted Samaria, taking longer routes to avoid the half-Jew, half-Gentile population, Jesus, not only insisted in going through the region, but also stopping there for a rest. He was tired, hungry and thirsty. A Samaritan woman came to get water, and Jesus engaged in conversation with her, breaking even more rules, shocking her and the disciples.

I don’t have to remind you how unmoored we’ve become in 2020 with Covid-19, unrest, violence, division and politics. What is happening? How will this end? What is to become of our world? With all the scary stuff happening outside my walls, I am tempted to close my eyes and hunker down in despair.

But the fields are ripe for harvest.

“…open your eyes…”

Kingdom work and farm work parallel in so many ways. Jesus referenced  farming on different occasions linking them together. Farmers get antsy the weeks leading up to harvest, because the grain is their lifeline. Ministers of Jesus’ gospel are passionate to plant seed where their feet take them.

In the mission’s world of which I’m a part, we look for a harvest. Nations all over the globe are experiencing a pandemic upheaval like one giant ball of misery.

While many in our country complain of too much time, food and inconvenience, focus grows inward, stuck in 2020 vision, while fields are whitening.

“…look at the fields!”

In spite of efforts to shut down or constrict ministry, online prayer gatherings petition the Father daily, many lasting for hours. Former mockers show up to limited church gatherings. Stories of entire families coming to Christ during these months pour in from workers overseas. Conversions spawn baptisms. Bible studies fly off online shelves. The church without doors is alive.

It’s not a time for myopic vision. Now is the time to look beyond what we see to impact what our 2020 vision can’t yet see.

The best way not give in to Covid-Unrest-Political-fatigue and despair is to open my eyes and look at the fields. We live in a ripe world. Outside my walls people cry for so many things, but only Jesus can provide for the needs of a heart. 

“I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” John 4:35 (NIV)

This is 2020 vision.


*Feature Photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash
*intext Photo by Tomas Kirvėla on Unsplash

13 Replies

  1. Maria Martens Reply

    Thank you for me inviting to your blog Sylvia, Love you and love wha you do!!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thanks so much Maria. It goes both ways, you know. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. J.D. Wininger Reply

    Wonderful illustration ma’am. This world is indeed ripe for the harvest; and we as workers for Christ need to everything in our power to increase the coming harvest. I believe with all my heart that we are closer to Christ’s return than ever before. I don’t know the day or hour ma’am, but I do know I don’t want to stand before Him and tell Him I didn’t try my best. God’s blessings ma’am.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thank you J.D. I do look forward to the day when faith will be sight!

  3. andrew brucato Reply

    great reflection thanks

  4. Jeanne Doyon Reply

    Love this, Sylvia. So true. There are open doors of opportunity everywhere we look.

  5. Jeannie Waters Reply

    Sylvia, what a brilliant statement to focus our attention on what is most important: “The best way not give in to Covid-Unrest-Political-fatigue and despair is to open my eyes and look at the fields.” May more souls be drawn to Christ and may each of us be faithful to share the Good News!

  6. Russ Reply

    Thank you for writing this beautifully poetic reminder of the bigger picture! It definitely increases my eagerness to sow!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thanks so much Russ. Honored you read it and found it encouraging. Praying for you guys.

  7. Nancy E Head Reply

    We are to be ready in every situation. Thanks and God bless!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Nancy, thank you for reading and commenting. I do want to be ready in every situation. I am grateful that God is always available!