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This Hard Land
"Hey there mister can you
tell me what happened to
the seeds I've sown?
Can you give me a reason
sir, as to why they've
They've just blown around
from town to town
Till they're back out
on these fields where
they fall from my hand
Back into the dirt of
this hard land."
Futility & Frustrations
This Hard Land is a great song that has a lost and almost forgotten history. Written during the 1982 Born in the U.S.A. sessions it got set aside, only to be dusted off more than a decade later.
In 1995 while putting together a Greatest Hits compilation album, This Hard Land was recorded with the E Street Band; it rapidly became a concert staple.
In the lyrics, Springsteen raises uncertainties that trouble every one of us from time to time.
Like it or not, sometimes life can have a meaningless treadmill quality to it. We plug away and plug away, but for what purpose?
Futility settles in. Seasons come and seasons go, but our lives have no apparent rhyme or reason. Frustrations crawl up on our backs to wear us down. Futility takes root.
We come to the conclusion that sometimes life just flat-out sucks. Strong words, but regardless of how it is expressed, the discouraging elements of life are universal in nature.
Life is hard. Life can be unfair. Life is not a physical, emotional, mental or spiritual easy street. Bad things can and do happen to seemingly good people. But in the grand scheme of eternity, even hard knocks and misfortune have a design.
Booker T. Washington made the following observation: “No man should be pitied because every day of his life he faces a hard, stubborn problem. It is the man who has no problems to solve, no hardships to face, who is to be pitied. He has nothing in his life which will strengthen and form his character, nothing to call out his latent powers and deepen and widen his hold on life.”
It is how we choose to respond to life that makes all the difference. Trials and setbacks can turn us into bitter and jaundiced people or those same hardships can grind the flaws and rough edges off our character to strengthen and polish us.
Adversity will beat us down or toughen us up, depending on what exists in our heart. The inequities of life abound, so we either cover up with some false sense of security or we tap into a supernatural grace under pressure that lifts us up and sustains us through our darkest hours.
The good news is that God has made provision for the hardness of the world; God offers strength in the face of our weakness.
That is what New Testament writers referred to as the gospel: God’s everlasting love for his creation caused him to enter human history as Jesus Christ to absorb the totality of life’s futility, indignities and injustices.
As Jesus of Nazareth, rejection, betrayal and sorrows cloaked God’s physical time on earth. He hoped, he dreamed, he suffered, he died—but rose triumphant from the grave conquering sin and death.
Now, not only will Christ exist in our heart to be the hope of glory, but he will also walk with us through those difficult and trying times; he will be with us even to make sense out of those meaningless treadmill days we all encounter.
When crop failures are plentiful do you possess the spiritual resources to be secure?
Direction & Significance
We are free moral agents. If we choose to reject the realities of our spiritual dimension, then our lives will unfold as a series of pointless merry-go-round rides to nowhere special. We will spin and spin in endless endeavors to track a soul-satisfying course, only to discover that our physical existence is a hollow façade.
But when we acknowledge that we are simply created beings in desperate need of a relationship with our transcendent Creator, then our lives take on meaning and purpose.
When we surrender to the truth of life on God’s terms by accepting Christ as our Lord and Savior, then even the daunting hard places of despair are filled with direction and significance.
Hey there mister can you tell me what happened to the seeds I’ve sown? What’s up with this hard land is this: Life is a package deal. The highs are always set-off by the lows; the triumphs are always balanced by the defeats.
Life comes equipped with mountains to climb, rivers to cross and valleys to traverse. Challenges are part and parcel of the human experience—to say otherwise is to sequester one’s self in a rose-colored fantasyland of make-believe.
The question truly becomes this: When crop failures are plentiful do we possess the spiritual resources to be settled and secure?
- Wanted Man
Wanted Man a.k.a. Ken R. Abell, seeks to be a blessing to others. He's a rake, a rambler, and a teller of tales who understands that there is strength in a story well told and well lived. To learn more, inquire or schedule him, visit this web site.
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