Occasionally, I think God does something to make sure we know he is in charge and we are not nearly in as much control as we think we are. I had one of those experiences last week.
It all started with a forecast for several days of rain. I had just started to plant soybeans and I decided that I would get ahead of the curve by first planting all the fields along the creek that were the most prone to staying muddy for an extended period of time. I guess what I did not think of was that those muddy spots were also the most prone to flooding, but that is coming later.
In any case, I made the decision to plant the fields that would be the most difficult to get to if we got a lot of rain. They were also the fields that took longer to plant because of their geography and topography. I had a plan. I thought it might take me a good, long day, but if I was lucky I could knock them out and not have to worry about getting to them for the rest of the planting season.
The day started out cloudy and humid. Rain was in the air. I started out with a cautious eye on the darker clouds to the west. I did not have a good feeling I would get the first field done, let alone all three on my list. Well into the first field, the sky started to lighten up and the first threat of rain disappeared about 30 miles from me. I felt like I had dodged a bullet. I continued and soon had that field planted and had moved on to the next patch.
I had been in my planting zone and really had not paid attention to the western horizon. That was when I noticed the black, dark, menacing clouds headed my way. I checked the radar and sure enough, a patch of dark green and some yellow was on a direct path to me. It was about 45 minutes to an hour out and that was almost long enough to get me done — the key word being almost.
I was down to the last part of the field where the rows got shorter when the rain drops started hitting the windshield. I am not going to lie, I thought I was done. I bumped the tractor up a gear and hoped for the best.
The sprinkles did not get any heavier — in fact, they started to taper. That was when I noticed the sky had again started to get lighter. I looked at the trusty radar, and sure enough the rain had started to dissipate as it got closer. It soon disappeared altogether. I finished the field and felt like I had dodged a bullet. The next question was whether I should start the third and final field on my wish list for the day. I decided to go for it.
The field planted the best of all three. It was a breeze. You know how much fun it is when things go right and everything clicks? That was how this field went, and it is something I am not used to. I had the field done just as the darkest clouds of the day were forming and the rain drops started hitting my windshield. A gentle shower ended my day just as I pulled out of the field.
I love it when a plan comes together and everything works. It is a sign of superior management skills.
That night I heard the thunderstorm pass through and the next morning I looked at my rain gauge to see just a little over an inch and a half. The creek by my house was not even up, and I felt smug about what I had done. The rest of the day I went about my business and did not even think about checking my newly planted fields. It was the next day I was talking to a neighbor who lived up the creek. He asked me what I had for rain and then told me he had more than four inches. I immediately rushed over, and along the way I could see the creek had gotten well out of its banks.
To make a long, sad story short: Today, I finished the replant on the fields that I had so smugly thought I had planned out and planted in the nick of time. In the space of about four or five miles, the rainfall had almost tripled, and the best laid plans of men had been washed out. It was not much and the replant did not take too long, but I am convinced it was God showing me that I did not have it all figured out and that he was in control. It was a reminder that I need from time to time — if only I was smart enough to remember it.