Monday, October 2, 2017

A Visit to the Ploughing Championships!

‘No one who puts their hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the Kingdom of God’ Lk. 9:62.

I always enjoy a day at the ploughing championships maybe because of the happy memories I retain from growing up on the family farm. The world and his mother beat a track to the ploughing every September. It is Europe’s largest outdoor event with in excess of 280.000 visitors attending this year’s event in Screggan, Tullamore. Local farmers provided 600 hundred acres of their land to meet the requirements for the ploughing events, parking and approx. 2,000 exhibits. 

I was representing Vocations Ireland. I shared a stand with Franciscans OFM. NET Ministries Team joined us for the three days. We were kept on our toes with the footfall to our stand which was very encouraging. People were requesting prayers of all kinds; children were seeking prayer cards for their pets and animals. Farmers a blessing for their land and others a prayer for sick friends. Wrist bands and crosses were also in great demand.    

It is said that people who are close to the earth are close to God and to the beauty of God’s creation. Jesus uses many images from the land in his stories in the Gospels. He uses the image of the plough. “No one who puts their hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God”. The person who is constantly looking back will get nowhere. Too much time is wasted and lost in looking back. Nothing can change anything we have done in the past. Getting it right now gives us much more control in doing things better. God wants us to move focus on the job at hand and move forward in hope.

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