Neglected Farms

Neglected Farms

This great land of the United States was once a big wilderness. The Indians were the owners of all those thousands of square miles of land through which they roamed in search for food. The deer, buffalo, bear and wild turkey were plentiful. There was an abundance of fish in the streams and lakes. Trees of many varieties grew very tall and large. Underbrush covered the ground, and vines hanging from trees formed a jungle so thick that it was difficult to walk. Stones and boulders were everywhere. Fallen trees dammed up the streams and made great swamps. There were no roads, only the paths made by the wild animals which the Indians followed.

Then Columbus discovered this great American wilderness. Gradually people from across the seas came to live here. You will remember that the Pilgrims came here in the year 1620. More people came every year; they settled in small villages where they could live together to protect themselves against wild animals and unfriendly Indians.

There were no stores where groceries could be bought. The settlers had to hunt in the woods for their food. There were no farms on which to grow things to eat. The fields were trees, rocks and wilderness; they were useless for growing vegetables and grain. These early settlers could not live the wild roving life of the Indians. They wanted to settle down on farms and build homes.

So they hewed down the trees and grubbed out the stumps and underbrush. They dug out the stones and with them constructed fences around their fields. They plowed the fields, cultivated and improved them until they were rich and fruitful.

But when we travel along the highways today we see that many of these fields are now neglected and some of the farms forsaken. The weeds and underbrush cover them, causing them to become wilderness again. The buildings are not painted, they are in disrepair and falling to pieces.

What happened to these farms is what happens to many people. For example, here is a man who was brought up in a fine Christian home. When he was a baby his parents dedicated him to God in holy baptism. They prayed for him and taught him how to pray. They sent him to Sunday School and to Church. He was taught about God and our Savior Christ. His heart was carefully cultivated like the fields so that the beautiful flower of religion could grow there. Just as those fields were surrounded with stone fences to keep out prowling animals, so his life was guarded, cultivated and made fruitful like the fields. But what has he done with his life? Has it become well cultivated and fruitful or has it been neglected and allowed to become a wilderness choked with weeds and briars?

Many people have forgotten the Bible and the Church. They have neglected their Christian religion, like the fields that were neglected. Weeds and briars have been allowed to grow in fields that once were rich and fruitful. Many have permitted evil to come into their hearts to choke out the Christian religion. We do not like to see farms that grow weeds. God does not like to see hearts that grow evil.

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