Fallow Ground

Fallow Ground

Sometimes you need to press the ‘reset’ button. Strike that, sometimes the ‘reset’ just gets pressed. Life gets busy. New challenges require more substantial investments of time and energy, priorities shift and mature, and deep desires exist only to lie dormant.

We all like to feel that our lives have forward momentum. We like to see our goals accomplished and ambitions realized, but life is seasonal. In some seasons of your life it can feel that so little is being accomplished. The soil of your dreams, desires, and goals lies fallow, and fallow ground can seem like a complete waste (or at the very least unproductive).

How can it be right for a good desire to lay quiet?

Shouldn’t you be doing something with it?

Shouldn’t you be clawing and scrapping to make it come to life?

If not, aren’t you just wasting time?

After all the clock is ticking. Days turn into months, which turn into years.

Perhaps not… perhaps sometimes what urgency requires isn’t action, but rest. Not laziness, but respite from the urge to making something happen; a timeout from the nagging sense that you are behind the curve and under the gun.

Those seasons of rest become fertile soil. Places where roots go deeper, vision becomes clearer, and disjointed dreams coalesce into a cohesive whole.

This happens for all of us with all of sorts of things, because our lives are not bullet trains careening toward accomplishment. They are often incubators for God-birthed-plans to be cultivated, take root and grow.

This is Moses in Midian. This is David in the pasture. This is Elisha plowing in the field. This is Jesus in obscurity.

Sometimes you see nothing, but the opposite of nothing is happening.

This is fallow ground. This is rest. This is so often the platform for God’s creative and clarifying retooling of our dreams, desires and ambitions.

It’s good. It’s healthy. It’s holy.

Embrace it.


David Lindell is the West Campus Pastor at James River Church. To view content and messages from David visit jamesriver.org.

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About me

David Lindell

David Lindell

David serves as the Campus Ministries Director and West Campus pastor at James River Church in Springfield, Missouri. He has theology degrees from Evangel University (BA) and Dallas Theological Seminary (ThM). David has written for Christianity Today and currently writes for James River Church’s blog. He is married to Becky and they have three children: Owen, Elliot, and Henley. You can follow him on Twitter @davidlindell