Reading through Proverbs I ran across this verse in the ESV.
Proverbs 14: 4 “Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.”
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Immediately I imagined myself in the manger shoveling crap, spreading straw, and replenishing hay. I had two pictures in my head at the same time. The first was one with a scowl on my face, cursing the ox “How could so much come out of one animal?” I would work all day and fail to appreciate, not only the ox, but anything else. The second picture is me working with a smile on my face glad that the ox is healthy enough to produce so much crap so that I would not only have something to do, but the energy to do it because that ox helped plow the ground that produced the crop.
The circumstances of the job remained the same, but the attitude of the worker, me, made the job seem worth doing.
The more we are able to appreciate the benefits of our work the better job we do and the more fun we have doing it. This concept actually applies to every circumstance.
Too often we make changes in our lives based upon circumstances when in reality the change that needs to happen is within. We change jobs, neighborhoods, even spouses because we think the environment is to blame. The unwillingness to look deep within leads to death.Failing to make those heart changes will eventually lead to a dead ox and a dead manger manager.
Happy Homecoming Day Everyone!
It may seem a little early for the traditional Homecomings we may celebrate during football season, but last year August 10th was marked as a significant day in our lives when my Mom lost her battle with cancer, but won her race to Jesus. It was just about now one year ago that we were awakened by our phone ringing and I was asked to come over to help calm down Mom. Moments after arriving she breathed her last a slipped peacefully into that hoped for unknown we Christians call Eternity.
While I never really appreciated it when she was here Mom was quite the celebrator. Just about any special occasion on the calendar was celebrated. Everything from Halloween to Valentines Day to the first day of school was a day she felt was made to remember. I always thought every kid got homemade fudge and a card from their parents on Valentines Day, and that everyone’s Mom spent tireless hours making the best Halloween costume that Southern Elementary had ever seen (I was a Storm Trooper in second grade and childhood friend Todd Ratliff still recalls it to be a costume to be envied). It wasn’t until I had my own children that I realized what a chore it was to fix breakfast in bed for my kids on their birthday. And it may speak to my laziness as to why that tradition hasn’t carried over. Mom never seemed to complain about how difficult it was for her.
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This picture was taken on her last birthday on planet Earth. As I remember it we struggled to find a time to get together for it and settled for a lunch date and she was glad to have it. While I think she knew, little did we know what was on the horizon 33 days later.
While I know today will be filled with emotion and some grief as I reflect on her physical absence during the most significant year of my family’s life. I know without a doubt that she would desire we celebrate that she hasn’t missed a thing and more than likely has enjoyed it far more than if she were still here. That’s one thing she definitely passed along. Something or someone is worth celebrating just about every day. Thank God she loved Jesus! Thank God Jesus loves her!
I miss ya Mom, but I can’t wait to see what kind of celebration it will be when I see you again.