Never Lose Sight Of…
What exactly is “of?” Well, that’s something different for each of us. Here’s a little recent lessons-learned about mine:
As I sit here waiting for the morning dew to dry, I contemplate the events of the past several days and how God has shown me, in a very abrupt way, never to lose sight of what is important, and how what you truly love is worth any amount of effort.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been acquiring hay equipment as this is our first year on the farm cutting hay. Now, just for future planning purposes, I never recommend buying hay equipment at the onset of hay season; that’s like buying a boat at the beginning of boating season. But in our defense, we bought the farm in the winter and had to build a road, a fence, and several other things before we could even get started. Anyway, getting John Deere, International, Massey Ferguson, and New Holland to all play well together has been a wrestling match, to say the least. Not one hydraulic fitting matched and of course, there’s all the little things you find as you realize why exactly it was the other person was selling said equipment. After two days of wrenching and wrestling, with several setbacks (combined with all of the work and expense we’ve gone through just to get to this point), I had gotten so frustrated at how behind I was that I fantasized about lighting the hay fields on fire and just driving away.
Then… it hit me like a ton of bricks. A stomach bug/virus/curse that knocked me flat on my back having to stay within feet of the bathroom. I had a high fever, chills, aches, and Montezuma’s revenge that I thought could end me. Also, I was at the farm alone, as Monica was at our Knoxville(ish) home with the kids. To add insult to injury, we had just moved the motor home to the farm, and I hadn’t planned to spend the night, so it was not stocked or supplied at all. No water, a half-a-roll of the most important paper in the world, no food, nothing…
Being in the condition I was in; I couldn’t leave the motor home, much less get in my truck and drive an hour and a half home. That would have been disastrous. With that in mind, I laid on the sofa with the windows open allowing the breeze to flow through, and just waited for Monica to arrive with the things I needed to work through this illness.
It took a little more than six hours for her to arrive. She had two sick kids and had to take care of the animals at the other home as well as wait for Seth to get off of work to come with her to help with the cows here (something I was unable to do in my condition). During that time, all I could do was lay there and think. No TV. No internet. No anything… My phone had died and just getting to the outlet to plug it in seemed like an unachievable goal.
That six-plus hour wait was a gift from God. Sure, I was suffering, but as I listened, all I could hear was the gentle breeze, the chirping birds, the insects, and nothing else. You see, our farm is nestled perfectly out-of-the-way. You won’t find it on accident. We chose it specifically for that reason. All I could see was the blue sky and the swaying of the trees in the breeze out the window, and what was happening was perfectly clear to me. Through all of my worldly frustrations, I had begun to lose sight of what it was that I loved so much and what I wanted to build for my family. I had let stress and frustration cloud my view of what was really important. God saw me getting angry and frustrated. He saw how I had glimmering thoughts of how easy life must be if you live in a suburb and simply go to the movies and eat out for dinner for entertainment, with nothing more than a lawn to mow for chores. With that, he knocked me flat on my back and simply said, “Shut up and listen. Listen to the things you love. Listen to the things you came here for. Listen to what it is that you want for your family.”
With that epiphany, I laid there and simply smiled. For the rest of the evening, I enjoyed the confines of my digestive prison and thanked him for showing me what was truly important to me, and how it was worth any amount of effort. I reflected on how my beautiful wife and wonderful children were on their way to me to bring me what I needed to make it through the night and realized just how lucky I was.
This morning, I awoke feeling great and refreshed, both in body and mind. I type this as the morning dew dries from the hay so that I may begin to cut it in preparation for baling with a smile on my face and peace in my heart.
Don’t ever lose sight of your goals. Don’t ever give in to an easier way of life. If you follow the average path, that’s all life will ever be.