Long Lost Friend

calm sunny day in winter countryside

Today’s guest post, by Chris…

I love living in the country. It is even better that there is a dirt road that runs near our
house. Sunday after lunch will often find me on that dirt road going for a walk.

I walked along in the recently cut hay to where I could see the draw that cuts across the
corner of “the forty”. Our family has always called it that. It was part of the original farm
that my grandpa bought about 80 years ago.
From where I stood I could see the cottonwood trees towering in the corner of the farm.
Tucked neatly in the ditch between the trees rests the remains of the ’57 Ford my sister
used to drive to school. There is a mulberry tree near where the hog building used to be
years ago. Oh, the memories that came to mind.

Looking at the draw I remember the windmill and pond that were there when I was a kid.
In those years there was a good market for fur. The early morning escapades in the cold
and dark to check the traps in the pond came to mind. Occasionally I would witness the
muskrat sliding in his tunnel in the ice. Then I remembered all of the clay tiles we carried
to the tiling machine when dad had the draw and the rest of the field tiled out. Certainly
has gotten easier since the advent of plastic tile.

This land has always been someplace to come home to. I have spent over half of the
years of my life living or working on this farm in one way or another.

Memories of loading hay, riding down the “big hill” on a load of bales as it pushed the tractor faster than it was intended to go, engine “popping” because of the rpm, pulling hay into the barn, then my time came to be the one in the barn stacking the hay. Oh, the heat!

Hours upon hours of taking out fence as farming changed and more acres were acquired. Putting in new fences between us and the neighbors. Tearing down buildings, cleaning up the debris. Hard work but enjoyable it was working with my hands, and my dad, making improvements.

Then there were the “gravy” jobs like riding the tractor and harvest time. I could go on and on with the memories that are a part of this place and me.

God has afforded me many opportunities to do different things. Working for other farmers, service businesses, retail, preaching full and part-time as well as farming has given me a wide background.

Mission trips have enabled me to see, teach and preach in faraway places such as Russia, Mexico, Jamaica, Haiti, and Canada as well as several states. In all of this, there was the farm. I could always come here to this familiar place whenever time, desire, opportunity, or need presented itself.

The old adage comes to mind “you can take the boy off the farm but you cannot take the
farm out of the boy”. In some ways, any old farm will do. But in others, it would not. So
much of my life is here, memories are here, the surroundings are familiar, and there is a
sense of security.

Whatever happens in the coming days and years I know it will be for the best (Romans
8:28) I just hope and pray that I can cope with it graciously. And while I plan to spend the
rest of my days or years on this farm I also look forward to those mansions above (John
14:1-4). How about you?

John14:

1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.