I am constantly thankful that God blessed me with the privilege of growing up on a farm. Nothing is more rewarding than the daily experience of life "down on the farm". The rewards and lessons learned in planting a bucket full of seed corn in the Spring time, then harvest a large barn full of corn the following Fall gives one such a feeling of accomplishment garnished with God's abundant blessings. I will forever cherish the precious memories of fields of tall corn, acres of beautiful white cotton, an acre of peanuts pulled from Mother Earth and stacked in shocks to dry for Winter storage. Ah! I can still savor the beautiful aroma that tantalized the cows, as they loved the peanut vines that were given to them in the winter months as my brother and I plucked peanuts for roasting and tossed the vines from the barn loft to the hungry cows below. Such picturesque stores could go on and on of an abundance of farm plants we planted every year: peas of numerous varieties, mellons, a great variety of squash, okra, beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, Irish potatoes, yams, onions and on and on. We even had our own beef, milk cows and chickens and eggs, too.

     Farm life was rewarding, not only in an abundance of produce, but, also, an accounting. One Spring day I was angry about something. I do not remember about what. My dad asked that I take a container full of peanut seeds and go out to the field and plant a specified number of rows to complete the acre he wanted us to have. I proceeded, rather grumpily, to comply with dad's instructions. After having finished several rows of planting, I decided that this was enough, so I dug a large hole a bit deeper and dumped all the remaining peanut seeds there, carefully covering my evil choice. I knew I had done wrong, but felt confident that no one would ever know the difference.

     In due time, one brisk morning dad had gone out to the field with horse and plow for the final "laying by" for the season until harvest.  In a few minutes I could hear dad venting his anger with a loud groof voice. I had forgotten about my erronious actions and was unprepared for what was about to transpire. Soon dad was storming through the house, heavy feet hitting the wood floor like that of elephants. Suddenly I felt my chair being pulled from under me and a firm grip on my left ear. He was roaring, "Donald Ray, you are coming with me!" As dad fairly drug me toward the field, he was asking, "Did you plant all the peanuts like I asked you to last Spring?" Stammering, I replied, "Yessire, I sure did." By now we were at the end of the last row of peanuts. There was a rather large patch of very healthy peanut vines growing up from one very crowed spot. Standing astride the patch, shaking his finger so vigorously toward them, and with the other hand around my neck, bending me down over them, dad was asking, "Then why this?"  I knew I was finally caught and my sins had come home to roost and that dad was going to appropriately punish me.

     To this day I have a very vivid picture of God's promise, ". . . and be sure your sin will find you out." This is an obscure scripture that we do not hear much about. I have used this scripture and my personal experience in teaching young people, and yes, adults, also, of the importance of striving for excellence in all we do. Do not scrimp and fudge and cheat, as you will be found out. Numbers 32:23.

     No, God does not keep score. He does not have a log book in which He checks off so many good deeds or bad deeds each day. He has done much better than that. Within each of us is a conscience that turns and grinds each time we do wrong. If one is not sensitive enough to good and evil to know at the moment, then a later date when someone, as with my dad, grabbed my ear and said "Follow me."

    The moment of accounting will arrive. 


   Just a Thought Across The Garden Gate by Parson Don.




Updated January 13, 2010
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