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Our ride to the fields in the brisk, pre-dawn mornings was always quiet. When we were younger, it was Dad who drove us; as we got older and my oldest brother could drive, he'd take us to the field where we'd be working that day. I liked the quiet. It gave me a chance to lean up against the door, close my eyes and steal a few more minutes of sleep.

In the country I grew up in, a boy began working in the cotton patches as soon as he was old enough to see over the cotton and hold a hoe. It was hard to scratch out a living for most folks, so their children contributed by doing work for the local farmers. I'm not sure what the older boys were paid, but I got $1.00 an hour, payable at the end of the summer. Boy did I look forward to the end of the summer. Our parents would take us to the bank and we'd cash our checks then we'd go to the store and they'd help us pick out our school clothes for the year. We'd pay for them with money we'd earned. If there was any left over after buying clothes, we could buy whatever we wanted. It was an empowering feeling.

As the day progressed, the work got harder. It wasn't the hoeing so much as it was all the walking. The fields don't have grades, they are flat, but the surface we stepped on wasn't flat. The plows created dirt clods that made it difficult to walk-at least it was difficult for a little boy to walk on. The spray of dust generated by chopping into the ground would sometimes get inside my shoes, creating more difficulties. When we'd get to the end of the row, we'd take off our shoes, shake the dirt out of them, put the back on and began walking in the other direction. The deeper into the day, the harder the sun beat down on us, and the more I wanted to go home. Besides knowing that the day would end, and we'd be home before long, the other thing that kept me going was thinking about the paycheck at the end of the summer.

There is nothing like the feeling of completing a job. Unless it is completing a job, picking up a check and hearing the boss say, you did a good job. No, I'm not talking about working in a farmer's fields now; I'm talking about working in my Heavenly father's fields and longing for the "end of the summer."

Matthew 25:21 KJV "His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord."

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(c) Dr. James L. Wilson, all rights reserved

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365 Days includes Volumes 1-4
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Impact Preaching: A Case for the
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