Back in my nimbler days, I took a brief lesson on how to make a static-line parachute jump.
We had some classroom instruction first and then went outside and practiced jumping off a wooden platform several feet high. This gave us a chance to practice keeping our knees flexed in anticipation of hitting the ground.
One of the things I remember, too, is the instructor telling us that after we jumped from the plane and descended closer to the ground, that we should look up and keep our eyes on the horizon — the point where earth and sky meet. That would help us judge how fast we were moving and, accordingly, get into landing position with flexed knees to hit safely on ground.
Keep your eyes on the horizon.
That phrase came to mind as I thought what farmers are facing in these challenging times.
It is easy to be discouraged and frustrated by events out of your control. Our current economic climate forces you to continually question nearly everything you do and every decision you make.
I encourage you to keep looking straight ahead, as well as up.
“I lift up my eyes to the hills — where does my help come from?” asks the writer of Psalm 121, part of the Pilgrim Psalms or Songs of Ascent. These psalms — 120-134 — were sung by pilgrims as they journeyed to the temple in Jerusalem for annual feasts.
“My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth… [He] will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”
Be mindful that you are not alone as you go about your daily chores. God is with you. Talk to him. Make a call or send a text to a caring family member, neighbor or friend. Sometimes conversation is enough to brighten mood or tweak perspective.
Whatever your thoughts are for 2020, to farm or to exit the business, please reach out to a trusted adviser to help you sort out the pros and cons. Keep farming family members in the loop. They deserve the professional courtesy to respectfully share their thoughts and opinions.
Remember, chin up. Eyes on the horizon.