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A WORD FROM...Jaco Minnaar

December 2019

It seems that life is getting faster and faster, accelerating as we grow older. When we look at our kids and the younger people, they know more and get more done than we did at their age. And then you realise, life does get faster. 

Sometimes we struggle to hold on, and as farmers the past few seasons, both in the winter and summer rainfall areas, that was most certainly the case. Rains coming late, drought that just won’t give way and profitability not good at all.

Last year was especially tough on my farm. It was the worst start to a season in terms of rainfall in 110 years. We planted two months later, really unheard of – in rather dry soil. As our crops struggled until March, we struggled mentally too. But God came through, we had the wettest April in 110 years, by far. And despite all, still realised an average crop.

As farmers we always have hope, ‘next year is going to be our best year’, ‘if we could just borrow some more to plant next year, etc. We are inherently positive. We are looking forward to a better future. And sometimes, what we hope for is not what realises. We need to deal with this rather often.

Around the end of the year we tend to relax a bit more around the holidays and have time to reflect, one realises where this strength comes from. You reflect on all the challenges that you had throughout the year and realise that you came through them. It’s not necessarily the outcome you anticipated, but somehow you survived.

When we are in the race, burning the candle both sides, we are so focused, that we miss what really happens around us. We sometimes lose faith, we ask difficult questions of Him and everyone around us. And we wonder about our future. It’s normal, it’s human. But we need to make time to reflect, we need to look back and see all the great things that God has done for us, all the things that we missed in our busy lives. We miss because we have certain outcomes in our minds, but most of the times He lets something different happen. The things that we take for granted, our health, wife and kids, parents, family, friendships, mental health, faith and wisdom. And then you realise, none of these are about money, none of these are dependent on how good the crop was, when we planted, what tractors we use, etc.

May you in this time of being less busy, make time to reflect and count your blessings. Think of everything you have, what you have received, and how God looked after you this year. Thank him for that, but also thank the people around you for their contributions, support and guidance that they gave you.

May God bless you in this time, may he bless your farm, your people and your endeavours, and may you be thankful for all you received!  

Publication: December 2019

Section: Pula/Imvula