A country boy’s reflections
I agreed to do a series of articles for the newspaper. I asked God for understanding and for His leadership because I needed a weekly or monthly title and a main idea that I could build my thoughts around. It had to be an outline that could be used for dealing with almost any subject in my future articles.
I came to the conclusion that looking backward, looking inward, looking forward, looking outward, and looking upward is exactly what I needed to provide challenge, encouragement, hope and inspiration to a hurting and stressed-out people. My newspaper articles, whether copied in full or in summary from my book Religious Echoes from Country Living, will provide serious devotions, poems and prose (all with a country flavor) given from me to you with Christian love.
Not long after I got out of my diapers, my dad taught me about plowing a mule. What kind of directions do you give to others? Some people will remain confused even if you have them proper directions. And old-timer would often brag about being ill. His wife was tired of his complaining. In earlier years, doctors visited in homes. She asked the local doctor to make a visit to her home. After his arrival, he diagnosed the old-timer’s illness and prescribed some pills. He said, “I want you to take one pill after your meals three times a day.” “Doctor,” replied the old-timer, “I don’t reckon that I can take one pill THREE times a day, unless I tie a string to it.”
After I left the plow handles for the pulpit and for the educational profession, I learned that there must be some “gee-ing” and “hawing” and “gid-up-ing” and “whoa-ing” given to God’s people.
Correct mule-steering is much needed in hour homes, in government, in education, and in our churches across America. Unless the Word of God is given, children, youth, and adults, will stray to the left or to the right - far away from the truths of God’s Word. They will lose that steady eye on their goal: Heaven.
People haven’t always been given clear directions, even in our churches. When plowing with the Gospel Plow, watch your word choice and tone of voice. People are to be loved with our words and by our actions. Show your patience, gentleness and love to others. Activity in our churches doesn’t always mean that God controls the handles of the plow and the person who is doing the plowing.
Keep a steady grip on the plow-lines and plow handles while giving guidance when needed or even when not wanted. What will happen to the spiritual plants like our elderly, our children, our youth if neglected? My dad would say: “Son, don’t weave to the right or to the left. Keep a steady eye on where and what you are plowing.
A BOY’S FIRST EFFORT TO PLOW
The ground moist from melted icicles,
feeding the Bermuda grass tentacles,
eager to yield a bumper harvest,
awakening from its winter’s rest.
A father must teach his son to plow
The son is determined to learn how.
Tis better than feeding the sows.
“Get the mule to go forward,” the father remarked.
“Giddup”. The boy in his heart felt smart.
The mule got up.
The boy was growing up.
“Son, don’t plow TOO DEEP or TOO SHALLOW.”
““I know how to plow,” the boy said with a swagger.
“Son, don’t forget the plowman’s navigational words -
and don’t overuse the words -
WHOA, GIDDUP, HAW, AND GEE.”
The mule, the boy verbally abused,
while plowing, cutting through the dirt,
eager to plow God’s fertile earth.
The plow point was sometimes in, sometimes out.
The boy was sometimes up, sometimes down.
The mule and the boy went round and round.
The boy’s lips shouted forth the “gee-haws” in
a confused and tangled form --
“It isn’t easy to plow this corn.
Must I accept all the blame?
Will someone else share the shame?”
Veering to the right,
veering to the left,
the mule plodded on his directed way.
The boy was having his say. “Our toiling mission can’t wait. Son, give your
What I said to that mule, one shouldn’t fully repeat.
Dad’s hickory switch rapped my seat
and helped my spirit to become sweet.
Does it really require a “single-tree” or “trace-chain” placed between the mule’s ears,
for the plow to correctly steer?
Hold tightly, my brothers, to the Gospel plow
and to the plow lines.
Where is the time to whine?
Steady your eye on the middle of the row,
or grab a hoe.
Don’t let the Bermuda grass of sin -
man to win.
Use a sweeter voice.
God gave you that choice.
Be loving to that ole mule,
for this is God’s Commandment rule.
On that day, the mule looked back to see,
while flicking his ears at Dad and me,
wishing to be rid of his annoying little fly,
reflecting his mulest thought,
“What a havoc in the Father’s field a son has wrought -
during his first effort to plow,
while determined to learn how.”
(Copyright owned by Loyd Sowers, Pastor of Kaplan Baptist Church - a church where the Bible is taught and people are loved. His telephone number is 337-643-7971.)