Thought it would be a good opportunity to share a few words from my minister’s mind during last year’s hay season when drought put everyone in hard drought in Southwest Arkansas.
There’s nothing better than getting the “hay in the barn” – as the saying goes – and a good peace of mind seems to come over ya when things get accomplished. This passage from Philippians 4:7 sums it up well I think.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
200 Bales Peace of Mind – Explained this to my wife, but the price wasn’t what I was talking about relative to my peace of mind. It was a barn full of hay, and sufficient to say, it will get me through another year (winter). That is short-term peace of mind, and it is my peace of mind for the farm. This is not all we feed, but it is sufficient forage for the calves and horses, since last year’s forage was 40 bales shy of this. However, last year we ran a bit short. You see, my peace of mind began to wane around March/April of this year because we had to buy more hay, and I didn’t want to do that, but such is the nature of this business.
There are abundant lessons to learn about life if you truly live it, and in time, by application so as to be successful and responsible—and of course we are talking about a life viewed from the perspective of God—you will learn your fair share, and wisdom may be yours to own. A wise man endued with knowledge is a valuable asset in life, and I’d like to say I have had great examples to help and aid me in times of need. Their wisdom has helped maintain my peace of mind, and this is most valuable to any one person.
The Bible says: “Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field.” (Ecclesiastes 5:9). There are clear benefits from the land of which mankind was blessed by. There are principles of work untold; life-lessons that man must learn so as to develop both physically and spiritually: “Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.” (Genesis 3:23).
Man must learn wisdom and discretion in work, and this is from the Lord: “Give ye ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear my speech. Doth the plowman plow all day to sow? doth he open and break the clods of his ground? When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principal wheat and the appointed barley and the rie in their place? For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him.” (Isaiah 28:23-26). Some do not recognize these blessings are from God and show no regard: “For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal.” (Hosea 2:8).
There is great wisdom in working hard with balance and godly wisdom: “Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats’ milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens.” (Proverbs 27:23ff.)
War is a ravage on the peace of mind, thus doing away with the ability to enjoy hard, toilsome work. Howbeit, because of sin God says this: “I will also break in pieces with thee the shepherd and his flock; and with thee will I break in pieces the husbandman and his yoke of oxen; and with thee will I break in pieces captains and rulers.” (Jeremiah 51:23). Peace is favorable: “And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (Isaiah 2:4). “And there shall dwell in Judah itself, and in all the cities thereof together, husbandmen, and they that go forth with flocks.” (Jeremiah 31:24).
Contentment should be learned in hard work, and herein is great peace of mind. However, envy of another’s goods is contrary to this: “Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour’s wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour’s house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour’s.” (Deuteronomy 5:21). This destroys man’s peace of mind.
I like this passage, and believe the principle of peace and happiness are greatly deduced: “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5).
200 bales loaded, hauled, unloaded and stacked in a barn, at this moment in time, on the hottest day of the year was gratifying to this country-boy, and last night I slept like a baby. That was some good peace of mind. However, the greatest peace of mind is found in knowing the message of the cross and applying it on a daily basis. This peace does not pass away, ever! (cf., Philippians 4:7).
Even if hay season seems a little rough, remember there’s always something to be thankful for. Keep the Faith. Be thankful when the hay is in the barn. Read more thoughts from Bryan here.