Unplowing the plowed


By Rev. Huey Wood

The Storyteller

I am a product of the red clay hills of northeast Mississippi. I grew up tilling this red clay soil, and I know what it means to break the ground with a flat bottom turning plow, a middle buster and a disk.I have followed all of them barefooted and felt that fresh plowed soil on the bottom of my bare feet.


It was for this reason that it took me a long time to bring myself to tell this story, even though I have kept it in my file of stories. One day I was reading the story and suddenly it occurred to me that there is a truth here that we can draw from, and it is as clear as the morning sunrise.


 The story is about this young man who was really uncoordinated. It was said of him that he could not walk and chew gum at the same time. He certainly couldn’t pat the top of his head and rub his tummy with the other hand at the same time. He was so uncoordinated that he couldn’t keep a job because he was always messing up.


 The boy’s father knew a fellow who was a big-time farmer. The father talked the farmer into giving his son a job. The boy went to work, worked one day, and then the farmer fired him. When the father asked why the boy was fired after one day, the farmer said, “Let me tell you about that boy of yours. We sent him down there to plow, and he went and climbed up on the tractor backwards and unplowed an acre before we could stop him.”


While it is ridiculous to think that someone could unplow the soil, it occurred to me that there is a kind of soil that  can be unplowed. In fact, we see it being done every day. I am talking about the soil of the human soul. This is the soil where human character is grown. This is the ground upon which Christian homes are built. We know that a home can begin in fresh-plowed soil, but bitter weeds and wild onions can slip in and before we know it, that good soil is littered with wild things. Then it’s as if it had never been plowed and the family dies.


So the question is, how do we keep those bitter weeds and wild grasses from unplowing what we have plowed? Through the Bible, God gave us a plan for family, church and nation. We are to worship Him as a community in the plan that he gave us.


© 2006 Huey Wood