Graze: To feed on growing grasses.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.

-Ps. 23:1-6

Growing up on a farm, I used to watch the cows, sheep & horses graze in the pasture. Each morning we would open the gate to the barnyard and they knew there was freedom from that small pen they were in. They also knew there was nice green grass beyond the barnyard. Once the gate was open, look out because those animals wanted to get where the tall, green grass grew – the pasture! They would take off sometimes even running up the old fenced lane that went up over the hill through the cornfield to the lush green pasture on the other side of the farm. There they would graze for a while then lay down and rest for a while then graze some more. They did this all day long. Come evening we would go over to the pasture’s edge and call the cows – 'come boss, 'come boss. They would gather at the pasture gate. Sometimes we would have to go round up a few stragglers and when all were accounted for, we’d open the lane gate and back over the hill they would go to the barnyard for the night. The next morning was the same routine, day after day.
What a life, huh?!

Oh that we could just graze and rest in shady green pastures all day long! But we can rest and graze in God’s green pastures and restore our souls . . . The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. (Ps. 23:1) I believe God wants us to slow down and “rest” and “graze” and “feed” on His Word. Life throws so many things our way and we are so busy – busy doing good things. But are we running on empty a good share of the time? Are we feeling stretched to extreme? Are we content with who we are in God’s divine providence? Slow down and take some time to just leisurely graze, rest a while, then graze and feed on the good things God has provided for you. Graze, rest, and enjoy the “shady green pastures” of God’s abundant love, grace, and mercy.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Procrastination Trouble

One of my daily chores was to gather the eggs everyday after school. I learned early on not to procrastinate and wait until after dark—hen houses are very, very spooky after dark!!! On one particular evening I conveniently “forgot” to make my trip out to the hen house! I can still remember mom asking, “Did you gather the eggs today?” I still haven’t figured out how, but moms just have this built-in antenna that picks up on our words, actions, expressions, etc. Well, she took one look at me and knew that I had not done my chores. I remember saying, “but, Mom, it’s dark out!” And I also remember dad saying, “get the flashlight and go get the eggs.”

Reluctantly, I went out alone into the deep, dark night with my flashlight lighting the path ahead of me. Slowly walking across the yard and driveway over to the chicken coop - flashlight in one hand and egg bucket in the other. I was wishing all the way out to the chicken coop that I had done my chores when I came home from school. Instead, I had put it off and now the sun had set and the shadowy moon shown through the chicken coop windows casting eerie shadows on the floor and walls of the hen house making my task all the more dreadful.

In the dark coop the chickens lined their roost making their “chicken night- noises” with all eyes on me – the intruder!  I proceeded quietly, tip-toeing and talking softly to comfort the chickens . . . and myself too! I didn’t want to scare them and get them all flying off their roost in every direction attacking and flogging me! Who knows what they would do if scared.

Approaching the row of nests along the far wall, I was reaching into the nests one by one with one hand holding the egg bucket and flashlight and the other hand bringing out one, two, three eggs putting them in the bucket then moving to the next nest. All the time keeping one eye on the rooster of this brood of chickens behind me.

On I went collecting egg after egg when it suddenly happened. While looking over my shoulder, covering my back from the roosting chickens and at the same time hurriedly reaching into yet another nest, the dreaded moment came. Payback for my procrastination!

As quick as I put my hand in the next nest an old sitting hen flew out of the nest. She was coming right up my arm and into my face flogging me but good!!! Dropping the bucket of eggs and flashlight, I ran screaming from the hen house only to run smack dab into dad who was, un-be-known to me, standing just outside of the hen house. I wasn’t alone after all! Whew!! He had followed me out there since it was so dark. Calming me down, he went back into the hen house, collected the rest of the eggs, bucket, and flashlight while I waited outside where the full moon shone brightly all around me.

Dad and I walked to the house with the flashlight shining on our path ahead and the moon beaming over our shoulders. As we carried the bucket of eggs with broken egg dripping from it, Dad said, “This is why it is best to not wait until dark to do our chores.” I agreed wholeheartedly!

Back in the house, mom and I sorted out the good eggs from the broken ones, washed the broken egg off of them, and put them in the refrigerator while dad sat down to read the newspaper.

Lessons learned: Some things just can’t wait. Do what needs to be done at the right time. Timing is everything! It is a whole lot easier and takes less time in the long run. Some times life takes us to places we don’t want to go or through things we don’t want to go through. But just remember you are never alone. God is always with you – trust Him to get you through.

1 comment:

  1. MY MOST FAVORITE CHILDHOOD MEMORYS OF THE FEW I have Is that of my Grandma's farm and gathering eggs with her or for her. We laughed, we ran, we giggled, I stood amazed when she rocked a chicken to sleep tucking its head under its wing. I think that's why I love my Grandma so much. I knew I could tuck my head under her protective wing and fall asleep.