Thought For Today

I am so glad that you have found this site and I hope you will find encouragement and joy as you read through my thoughts on God, family and life.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Walking Away from Prosperity

Grandpa John and Will standing near General Lee

Today I am in the southern most United States, Brownsville, Texas visiting my wife’s sister, Gayle Porter and her family, Stephen and their son Nathaniel.  The transition from going from 30 some degree weather to that of over 80 degrees in the last several days was phenomenal to say the least.  When we started out on our trip only a few flowers had broken the surface in Minnesota and as we traveled further south, the crops began to appear.  Here in extreme southern Texas we see that the wheat is ready to harvest.  It seems that we went through the seasons of spring, summer and late summer in 3 short days of travel.  It was as if we were traveling through time each day that we drove further south.  The corn down here is tasseling and the sorghum is almost ready to harvest.  Watermelons are being sold near the hiways along with fresh fruits and vegetables as well.  Upon arriving we have found the local population to be very friendly and kind to us.  The restaurant food though at times is a little hot with seasoning, but is very good. 

Marji and John Gustafson
Our children today went to a public park and really enjoyed themselves.  Grandma Marji noticed that both parents were with their children as they played.  It made me think that perhaps we live in a society that is sometimes too busy with all the demands that are placed upon adults and parents today.  I see far to often parents talking on the phone while escorting their children in and out of the stores.  Many times I observe children racing to catch up with their parents, these same parents that are preoccupied with the stresses of work, living and being a mother or father.  It concerns me that this all to subtle message is given to our children that they are less important than the demands placed on that of their parents. 

Do we live in a “rat race” today?  Are we so consumed with making a living that we have forgotten “how” to live?  Marji said that she is reading more and more on how busy adults are leaving their high-end jobs behind them and returning to the country.  They are opting for the simple life of hard physical work on the farm to that of a desk.  This same desk that seems to follow them home so much of the time.  If that is the case, why is this happening?  Are these suburban farmers willing to live on less for something that offers them so much more?  If that is the case, what then are the benefits to such a move? 

Waking up slowly in the van.
Living on a farm where animals provide the meat and gardening the vegetables that are eaten is not easy work to say the least.  It is back breaking labor that is unpredictable even in the best of times.  If this then is so, why are these people not returning to their old jobs in the cities in droves?  Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that the benefits outweigh the risks.  Family’s work together to provide for their needs, even the children have their chores, while work in the home is very challenging as well.  Canning must be done along with meal preparations that involves no commercial canned goods or prepackaged food.  Every member of the family does all the planning with the food that is placed on the table.  From making preserves to planting the crops to feeding the livestock, each family member pitched in to establish what is used and consumed.  This reminds me of the life my grandmother Anna had.  She had a large family and every child had a job or jobs to do each day.  Each child’s work provided for the security and survivability of the
family as a whole.  Along with the individual jobs for each member of the family there also was specific purposes for each animal and crop produced as well.  Once I asked my grandmother Anna, “what part of the pig did you not use?”  She smiled her gentle smile and said with no uncertainty, “the oink!”  

Busy Busy!
With all the jobs on the farm that I have described above, Marji related as well that the children are homeschooled by their parents.  I myself have noticed that ordering curriculum for homeschooling has grown considerably over the last several years.   Parents are choosing more and more to take their children out of public schools to educate them.  I am seeing that with homeschooling as a option, parents can not only choose the curriculum, but also make the choice of using Christian curriculum as well.  Christian companies such as Sonlight provide for the complete educational curriculum for all ages. 

Well, is this the direction God wants all of us to go?  I would have a hard time in saying yes, I believe that God has different directions for each member of his body, just like my grandma had different jobs for each of her family to do.  We need to seek God’s direction to understand what his will is for each of us.  One is the hand, the other is the foot . . . we all make up the body of Christ.  This I do know though, God has a plan for each of us, and specifically tailored for you and me and the direction he wants each of us to go.  All we need to do is to talk to Jesus and wait upon him, listen to his spirit speak to us along with reading his word for our individual guidance. 

Early Spring Moon
Are you one of those who have a calling to move to the country?  Seek God and the doors will open for you to carry out his will concerning you and your family.  If this is the direction for you and your family, he will make a way.