We are now in the season of Lent and it is a time of prayer, fasting, spiritual reading, and another handful of spiritual disciplines that Christians practice to prepare for the joy that will come after Holy Week—the celebration of Easter. Before we celebrate however there is a time of preparation—and that is the intention of Lent.
We might think about preparing to run a race and all the time, effort, and sweat we put into being ready on the great race day to not only to do our best, but to actually finish the race. Whether one is cooking a meal or playing a concert—vital preparation is key to the outcome and its celebration. A funny story I remember teaches us that it is only in very rare circumstances that we can let others can do our preparation for us.
A certain potato farmer was accused of not paying a large amount of back taxes that he owed. As a consequence, he was thrown into jail. His wife wrote to him: “Now, what am I supposed to do? You are in jail, and it’s time to plant the potatoes. There is no way I can plow the field.”
The husband wrote back from jail: “Don’t plow the field. That’s where I hid the money!”
His wife fired back a letter: “You dumb bunny. Don’t you know they read all letters from that jail? Yesterday, the FBI, the IRS, and the sheriff’s office were out here digging up our field. Now what am I supposed to do?”
Then came his quickly written response, “Now you can plant the potatoes!”