One of my regular statements that I make is, “People who grew up on a farm, are farmers or were farmers, have a huge advantage over non-farmers in life”. Some would think that I say this simply because from the age of 12 to 28 I was a farmer. I say this because I can recognize in my own life character traits and attitudes that serve me well that were formed in me during those 16 formative years of my life.
One of the things that I got as a farmer that I see many people struggle with is an understanding that life comes in seasons and requires us to be flexible as we make adjustments to our schedules, routines, and priorities, and that we do that with a positive, “life is great attitude”. The hours we worked on the farm went up dramatically during haying season. Growing and harvesting our own hay as apposed to buying it was a key to our success on the dairy. There were so many factors working against us on getting a lot of hay in the barn for winter, and the main solution to the problems was hours and hours of hard work. We understood that the intensity of our work week would be over when October rolled around. The advantage we had dealing with the seasons of life was that it was somewhat predictable which made it much easier to deal with mentally. We all have these seasons of life where we have to work very hard to get everything done and we still don’t finish it all, and these seasons spring on us out of nowhere. These seasons can be very powerful times of character growth, learning how to depend on the strength and guidance of the Lord, being positive and gracious to those around us in spite of weariness, and gaining skills in time management and self-leadership. Most don’t grow during these intense times because they don’t control their self-talk. They think “self-pity” thoughts, “I am so tired” thoughts, “life isn’t fair” thoughts, and on the list goes. Obedience to the command from God in scripture to “Rejoice always”, and “grumble about nothing” are crucial. We can do it if we constantly ask God for strength as we praise Him for our blessed life. Being aware of His presence, working at pleasing Him with our behavior and attitude, continually asking for strength and wisdom as we struggle is called walking with God. Choose to be an overcomer.