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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