The Farmer Who Queried God

by Oliver Mbamara

Sometime ago in my past life,
But of course you wonder,
What past life?
Yes! I mean in the days.

In the days of old,
When our ancestors treaded the earth
And their offspring, our forefathers
Learned their legacies.

In the days of old,
When the seasons kept their rhythm
And nature kindly carted its cycle,
Pouring showers at its seasons.

In the days of old,
When man was free
To roam the land and the seas
Amongst the beasts of the wild.

Given to live in caves,
But devoid of upheavals,
Saved from wild fires,
Tornadoes and hurricanes;

In the days of old,
When the seas kept their shores
And the earth stood its ground,
Unperturbed by the shakes of quakes;

But again you ask…
What about those days?

In those days lived a farmer.
A naughty man of hasty nature
Though gifted like all others in the land, but
A man whose harvest was always poor.

A man whose toil
Was always foiled
By the external vagaries
Of nature, or so he claimed.

A man of effort, as he claimed,
Who tried and tried, he would say,
But failed and failed in the eyes of all,
And so indeed, again and again!

A man who refused to follow rules,
That guided farmers in his days.
A man who refused to ask questions
That would help his need to know.

Even the time he did sow seeds,
He did fail to water the seeds,
Or even to clear the weed,
That crowded the plants in his farm.

In his ego,
He had lost the free council,
And the free guidance,
Of the Master farmer.

And when men have offered
Their hand to help,
He had with scorn dismissed their gesture,
And chided their innocent wisdom.

But when came the harvest time,
He was the first to hope on success,
And the richness of the harvest,
Though he failed to keep the rules.

And so one day,
I watched and listened
From the wings of a tall tree,
Up above the mountain place.

And down below,
In his garden,
I saw him yank and pull,
At meager crops the land gave him.

Lamenting his sole misery,
And expressing his sore anguish,
Caused by the poor harvest
The ‘generous’ land had given him.

He had claimed
To have labored well enough,
During the season men must farm,
But his harvest bore him no witness.

And on this day, I saw him,
Engage his conscience to a fight,
As his anger reached its top,
But against whom? I wanted to ask.

Cursing the soil,
And blaming all,
But only himself,
His voice echoed across the land.

“God of harvest,
Why have you forsaken me?
And made my days of labor
To be in vain?”

“Why have you given me nothing?
To boast and show
For all the work
That I have done in the farming season?”

“Are you really there?
I am beginning to doubt,
For how can my harvest be this poor,
Are you there, I must ask you God?”

But as his voice echoed his anger,
And his blame bothered the elements,
A storm started across the land,
Roaring across the green highland.

And then the heavens opened up,
And poured its rain on all below
With such rage like never before,
Upon the land, and upon the man.

I held on strongly to the branch
Of the tree that I have climbed,
Praying not to fall from it, yet
Curious to know what would come of him.

The wind tore at all the trees,
Falling some that stood too feeble,
And sending lightening over the hill,
Traveling at a speed I could not tell.

And from the distance,
The thunder echoed it’s loudest voice
Shrieking and tearing against the ears,
Engulfing the cry of the embittered man.

And then with an aim for the farmer,
The lightening returned with such haste,
Choosing the path in his direction,
While the thunder aimed at him.

He must have seen the approaching danger,
For he ran a race of his troubled life,
Or as he had thought of the life he lived,
Taking refuge against a tree.

But the lightning freely passed,
Laughing a scorn at the terrified farmer,
Daring him, I guess once more,
To echo his anger once again.

I must have heard him beg for his life,
But that scene I sure can’t tell,
For then I fell off from my spot,
Crashing like a branch off the trunk.

And when it was over,
The man was mellow,
He had thought that life was hard,
And had forgotten God’s other mercies.

He had forgotten that he had woken,
To a new dawn, and a new day,
To a new season, to begin again,
With a chance to improve his life.

He had blamed the land and elements,
In which he planted, but not his choice,
Of the land that he always tilled,
Nor the crops that he had planted.

He had thought he had a voice,
But the thunder had silenced his scream,
And he had survived to be glad he lived,
Knowing that God had let him live.

And rather than echo his frustration,
He now had thought of his part in it,
And now he knew he must be wise,
About his choices in life to make.

And so a resolution,
He then did make,
To put his ego to the side,
And ask for help where need does be.

He must seek the Master farmer,
And learn to choose the rich right land,
The one to till, and the one to plant,
If he must reap a rich harvest.

And never again, yes, never again,
Would he be, yes, would he be,
At the mercy, yes, at the mercy,
Of the weather or the seasons.

Over and above the green highlands,
His voice will not echo in rage again,
But his heart will keep his resolution,
This, he told me along the way.

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