How to Plow in the Cold Weather

13 03 2009

To start this out I am going to reference Proverbs 20:4 in two different translations. Each brings it’s own unique view on this scripture.

The Message:

A farmer too lazy to plant in the spring has nothing to harvest in the fall.

King James:

The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.

I grew up working on a farm during the summer and I wasn’t around the farm during the spring planting season. There was one time that I do remember helping my Grandpa plow up his garden so he could plant. I really don’t remember the exact time of year, but I do remember the lesson he taught me.

We had all the modern equipment that any farm had during the early 80’s: Tractors, combines, etc. and we used these all the time. But, there was an old antique plow that had been on the farm for ages. It had metal wheels and a seat in the very back. It was designed to be pulled by horses, mules, oxen, or whatever animal you had.

My grandpa decided to use it to plow his garden since the field plow was too large. It was a small garden and this old plow was the only one that would really do the job. So, he modified the plow and it could be pulled behind a small tractor.

The only problem was that it would take two people to operate this newly rigged piece of equipment. One driving the tractor and another operating the plow. It was my lucky day, I guess, so I got stuck running the plow.

We practiced working the plow/tractor rigging for a while before actually working on the garden. The plow was controlled by several levers, and it had to be steered by the seat. It’s quite funny to imagine me as a twelve or thirteen year old boy trying to steer this plow with my seat, and operate the controls. I learned to appreciate modern farm equipment very quickly that day.

Proverbs 20:4 speaks to us about a lazy farmer who does not want to plow his field. The King James version tells us that his reasoning was the cold weather, The Message says during spring.

As I walked out of my house today the spring temperature was a very cold 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Not exactly my idea of nice spring weather. I think I can safely say that most people would want to be indoors on a day like this.

However, there was a time in history when we could not let the cold weather keep us inside. If it was the time to be planting your crops you could not let the cold weather stop you. You would get on the old plow and get to work.

Laziness will easily take up residence in our life if we let it. When this happens we will have nothing to provide for our needs when the time comes. The bank account will eventually run dry leaving you scrambling to make ends meet.

I remember many mornings that I really did not want to wake up before dawn and go to work on the farm. I had to because I was a kid and didn’t have a choice. My grandpa on the other hand was a mature adult and knew that there were many things that needed to be done before the harvest season came.

There are days in my life when I really do not want to get up and go plow the hard cold ground in my life. I would much rather be sleeping in a nice warm bed. But reality tells me that if I don’t get up and plow I will end up empty handed in the end.

Our spiritual life requires a Solomon definition of diligence to make it through those cold times. Dedication, prayers, fasting, and study during cold seasons in our life are a requirement if we want Gods word to be planted in the good ground of our life.

Good ground isn’t a naturally occurring element as some would think. The ground was actually cursed because of Adams sin. The ground has to be made good through much labor and effort.

When we have made our ground good then Gods word can fall into place at the right season and eventually bring forth a crop. Don’t get discouraged and lazy during the cold spring mornings of your life. Get up and get to work plowing up the fields. The rains will soon come. If your fields are prepared then you can bring fourth a bumper crop.

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End of Another Round

24 01 2007

Recently I faced some challenges at work that has caused me to see some things at home in a different light and I am going to blog these things today.

Conflict upon our jobs creates stress in our lives every day and how we deal with that stress determines several things in our life. The stress in our workplace can and does come home with us everyday. When this stress comes to our home it interferes with our personal lives and can cause tensions in our marriages and in our relationships with our children or other family members.

After praying about my situation my thoughts were directed to this analogy that put several things into perspective for me and has caused me to take a different approach at home.

After this one particular day at work I felt like I had been beat up. As I left work my mind was captured by the events of the day and I could not get my mind off of the situation. Mentally I had taken a beating and it was causing spiritual and physical pain within me. All I wanted to do was get over the day and let it all go but I could not seem to do that.

After the 20 minute drive home in which I replayed every punch and every blow I had taken earlier in the day I finally arrived at home. As I walked into the house I was greeted by my children which helped to take my mind off of the situation temporarily. For a moment I felt as if I had been in a boxing match and had just returned to my corner after the bell rang. The kids were my cheering section and I needed the encouragement.

This didn’t last long as they finally went on about there busy evening of homework and playing. My mind slowly slipped back to the memories of every punch and every blow I had taken before the bell had rung and the round of the day was over. Then I met my wife.

As I met her she began to pour over me her frustrations and things I needed to do. This made me feel as if I was getting beat up in my own corner. The cheers of the children were far gone and now I was receiving more of a dose of reality. This did not help my mental and emotional state and I felt as though the next round had already begun and I had not recovered from the previous beating I had just taken.

Now with every good Rocky movie that comes out it seems that the boxing king gets beat to a pulp and just as it would seem it is all over he goes to the corner and begins to receive his pep talk from his trainer. When the next round starts it is as if Rocky was back in the first round and he starts pounding the other guy into the ground and he comes out on top as the champion. But then the movie ends and we all have to go back to reality.

This day was reality for me. Taking a beating all day at work, feeling as if I was trying to defend myself from every puch and every blow. I was not able to be on the offense because I was just trying to survive another round. I felt as if I were Rocky yet the next round would be the same as before and there would be no glorious victory in sight.

Then I realised something I had not really thought of before. Rocky’s trainer was not in the fight physically and his only job was to coach, train, and encourage. When I came home to “My Corner” after the round of the day I wasn’t coming home to the strength of a coach or trainer that would be there to back me up but rather I was meeting my wife where both of our corners met. The day had just ended for her as well and she had just ended another round in her fight. She was coming home to “Her Corner” looking for encouragement, looking for strength because she knew the next round was approaching as well as mine.

We met that day where the boxing rings of our lives all me and adjoined each other, in our home. The home is the place of encouragement that each of us need to be refreshed and encouraged from the battle of our daily lives. When we meet each other in this place we are all bringing the aweful memories and feelings that we remember from that day with us. The home is the place where we should receive encouragement from one another in order to prepare ourselves for the next round we face. The strength and encouragement we get from one another is what will drive us to victory in the upcoming rounds. We cannot simply forget our problems and memories of that day and take them off like our shoes at the door. They haunght us sometimes and torment us all along with the purpose to weaken us and cause us to loose in the upcoming round. Let us cherish the time we have in the corner of the boxing ring of life, which is the home. Let us encourage one another that the whole family can be victorious in the end. And most of all let us look to the one who can give us all renewed strength in the battle, the one who can encourage us and lead us to success in all we do. That is Jesus Christ our saviour and redeemer from who all our strength comes.