Until three years ago, I was a life-long suburbanite and I loved it. Then I discovered small town living! My town is so small (how small is it?) that my husband and I got our picture in the paper last week (page one of Section B)…because we had our more-or-less annual “Hovatter Hot Dog Day.” Which being interpreted means we had about 40 friends over for a backyard weenie roast. And it made the local paper!

It took quite a bit of getting used to, this small town living, but it’s been a delight to us all along the way. We are “townies,” but within 5 minutes of getting in the car I can be driving through corn fields or past my favorite sheep or cows. Within about fifteen minutes, I can be deep into corn field driving. And every Thursday morning I spend a good half hour driving through corn, soybean and wheat fields on my way to a weekly business meeting.

Which brings me to the subject of this blog. DeKalb corn (that’s the brand whose logo is a flying ear of corn) has a slogan on all their signs that gets me thinking most Thursday mornings.

DeKalb Corn
Strong Roots
Strong Yields

I’ve been praying that my life would become like DeKalb corn! Apparently (and actually I know almost nothing about corn), DeKalb propagates their corn to develop especially strong roots. The results of being “well rooted” is, in their words, “strong yields.” In other words, having strong roots means that the plants will produce lots of corn.

Scripture has something to say about strong roots. The most commonly quoted passage is in Jeremiah:17:7-8:

“But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit.” (NLT)

Trusting in the Lord grows strong roots within us – roots that nourish us in times of heat and drought and enable us to prosper, continuing to produce delicious fruit. And producing delicious fruit is what Jesus said we were “appointed” to do (John 15:11). Colossians 2:6-7a reiterates the message: “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught…” (NRSV).

          Lord, I want to have strong yields.

As I continued to think about the phrase “strong yields,” it occurred to me that there is an additional meaning to the word yield. It can mean “to bring forth” as described above. It can also mean “to surrender or relinquish to the physical control of another : hand over possession of” (Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary). And I couldn’t help but think how appropriate the slogan was when that meaning was considered. When my roots are strong, when I have been “built up in Him and established in the faith,” my ability to yield control of my life to Him becomes much “stronger.” It happens more quickly and in more difficult situations.

          Lord, I want to yield strongly.

Well, all of this eventually drove me to DeKalb’s website to read about their strong rooted, strong yielding corn. (Yes, I guess I am a bit nerdy.) Slogans being what they are, I only learned about the strong roots and yields from their flying corncob road signs. From their website I learned that there is a third distinction: strong stalks. What good are strong stalks? Well, apparently, strong stalks improves “standability.”

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand”  (Ephesians 6:13, NIV). Sounds like another way of impressing upon us that we are to “live [our] lives in Him.”

          Lord, I want to still be standing after the battles you send my way.

At the risk of belaboring the point too much, the DeKalb website throws in an extra advantage: “better drydown.” In short, the corn is drier at harvest time, requiring less effort (and therefore expense) on the part of the farmer to get the corn ready for market. In other words, DeKalb corn requires less “babying.” Strong roots really do have benefits! 

“We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.” Ephesians 4:14-15

          Lord, help me to grow strong roots.

One Response to “What DeKalb Corn and the Mature Christian Have in Common”
  1. Dan Ghramm says:

    Good stuff! Only a little corny! 🙂

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