Thursday, August 21, 2014

Heat Yields Heat

It is a truth that fire wood heats you multiple times. It heats you up when you cut down the tree and shop up the wood. It heats you up when you move it around and stack it to dry. It heats you up when you bring it in to the furnace. And it heats you by the burning of the wood.

I am getting plenty of heating, this week. The Lord miraculously answered our prayer for firewood by providing an ample supply of logs close by. We likely have a seasons worth just from this week, which is a blessing because we have not done much prior. I sure had some sweat on my brow today!

Thinking of the title of my humble little blog: By the Sweat of My Brow, I realize what we wanted to communicate was that a life worth living is not an easy life, and life was really not meant to be easy. Leisure has gotten too many good marks, and hard work too many bad marks in our society. There is nothing wrong with working hard, and even seeing some drops of sweat fall from your face.

But I am constantly faced with the pull to take the easy path. There are only so many hours in a day, and no one has been handing out extra hours around my part of the country.

You can cut, move, stack, and dry your fire wood, or you could pay for electricity to do all that work for you.

You can buy a bag of flour, or you can work your tail off preparing the ground, planting wheat, protecting the crop, harvesting, threshing, storage, and grinding to get to the same point. It is simply astounding how much we take for granted in our western society lifestyle. The super market is so instant gratification. The old fashioned alternative takes a year of planning to get a crop.

You can work for an hour or two making 5 loaves of bread, or you can simply buy them for $2.39 each at the store.

I don't know a way to settle my tension. I enjoy gardening and living simply. I enjoy putting up food. I love the idea of self sufficiency. But it seems hard to try to do both lifestyles at the same time. This is not to discourage you, my one reader, because I do think there is value in not just giving into the downward flow of our "everything is disposable society."

When I think who is paying the true cost for my convenient grocery trips I think of the migrant worker making low wages, who definitely has sweat on his brow. And I think about the false economy of a petroleum based agriculture system, that really is borrowing from past reserves, with no intention of paying back that energy debt.

So in a philosophical turn, I have a suggestion for you: Live your life to make a difference in the life of someone else.

If you look over the frequency of my posts, you will have already seen a slowing pace. I think it is a normal life cycle for blogs. I started this blog with the intent to share knowledge, and not to just talk about us. We have used pseudonyms to emphasis this point. It is not about Sunshine and Harvest. It is about getting a connection to God, and becoming His child.

For each of us, life is a vapor. The older I get, the more I am willing to embrace my mortality. But to dust where we return does not have to be the end of the story. I pray that you will consider the Bible as perspective for the meaning of life. It points you to a loving God who wants to have you live with Him forever.

I hope something we have written on this blog has been a blessing to you. The next chance you get, embrace hard work, and get the joy of having sweat on your brow.

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