To Plow or to Preach

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I once thought that I’d like to be a farmer. I like nature, being out of doors, critters and the country.
But many years ago God said, “Go preach” not “Go plow”. So I never did follow through with farming as a vocation. I have no regrets at having done what God called me to do. I’ve enjoyed being a pastor most of the time and it’s an honor to have been chosen. And God has put my feet in mostly pleasant places.
While I no longer have a yen for farming, the farm has not lost its appeal and I often get to enjoy life on the farm. Doris and I have two daughters-in-law. One daughter -in-law is a cattle and sheep farmer. The other daughter-in-law is an equestrian who boards horses, gives riding lessons, shows and judges. I’m sure I could ride a horse if I wished, but I choose not to ask. Horses don’t have handlebars, seat belts or footbrakes, so I choose just to admire them from afar. One day the cattle and sheep-farming daughter-in-law was on the tractor hauling a spreader full of manure out to the field. She asked if I would like to ride along with her. I said that I would if I didn’t have to sit in the back!
Farming is demanding. It is twenty-four seven and it is hard work. I guess the phrase is labor intensive, but that’s not why I no longer have the desire to farm. There are some aspects of dealing with animals for which I don’t have the constitution that’s needed. As much as I like critters I would have to raise crops. You don’t get attached to a stalk of corn the way you do a calf, lamb or colt.
God always knows what He is doing and what is best for us. When He said, “Go preach” not “Go plow”; He had what is best for me in His mind and on His heart. The same is true for you, on that you can rely.
Anyway, I get to enjoy the ambiance and do a few hands-on things around the farm. I’ve filled and help load feed buckets onto the wagon, bottle-fed calves and lambs, mucked stalls, fed and watered horses. So while I preach and don’t plow, I still get to farm vicariously through our daughters-in-law when I visit. God is good.
– Darryl Maxwell

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