RAISING HAY OR RAISING MEN?
There are many positives and some negatives living in a rural area and having land and animals. One of the biggest negatives is that it requires hard work to maintain. One of the biggest positives is that it requires work. Work is a gift from God that was given to Adam before the fall of man and to be a good worker is to reflect the image of God.
Probably every generation has worried about the next in terms of how hard of workers they were perceived to be and I am no exception. Over the past decade watching the tidal wave of video and computer devices and games seems to have produced few young men willing to work hard physically.
Proverbs 6:6-11 warns the sluggard that they need to look to the ant. Raymond Ortlund Jr. in his book, “Proverbs: Wisdom that Works” (Crossway, 2012) describes the sluggard like cold syrup that oozes slowly out of the bottle. They are lazy, constantly making the soft choice, losing one opportunity after another until they have wasted time and eventually their life.
Having my grandsons work for a few days in what was a very hot sun this year throwing hay bales will not make them ants. Hard workers come from a conviction in their own hearts to be motivated to go beyond comfort without complaint. However for our family, we are helping our children teach their children what it means to work hard. They all may not end up hard workers, but they all will know what hard work is. How about your kids?
There is the story of the very rich farmer who could afford the latest equipment and to hire workers but made his sons work long and hard on the farm. When asked why he works his sons so hard rather than hire, he answered, “because I am raising men, not corn.”