Verses from Mama
By Sandra Sheridan
Proverbs 14:4 “Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, but much revenue comes by the strength of the ox.”
Solomon, the son of King David, wrote the book of Proverbs. Much of the book contains short phrases that share helpful wisdom for life. While reading through them I discovered an interesting saying that caused me to ponder the experiences of everyday life and to dwell on thankfulness instead of frustration.
Solomon drew on agriculture in today’s proverb to develop his words of wisdom. Farmers in his day used oxen to plow their fields and accomplish the work that would produce a good salary. But caring for animals can be very laborious and can create a lot of mess. Solomon used this example to show the balance of the two lots in life. Either deal with a messy barn and make a good living or keep your barn clean and go broke.
I couldn’t help but think how this mantra can apply in our day and age. As a mom of young children, I would often get frustrated with the loads of laundry and constant work of cleaning up after five kids. My need for organization in order to experience peace and relaxation went out the window by the second child, and it only got worse as time went on. But whenever I would feel my OCD tendencies kicking in, I would remind myself of this proverbial lesson.
There were two choices. I could have no children and enjoy a spic and span house, but that would make my heart sad. Or I could live with the mess and enjoy the blessing of little feet and joyful hearts. I also kept in mind that someday I would have plenty of time to keep a spotless house, but that would be after everyone had gone off and I was alone in an empty nest. I needed to be thankful for what I had right where I was at the time.
This proverb applies in so many ways. All types of relationships can be messy. In order to bypass the hurt and struggle, you would have to insulate yourself from others. What a lonely life that would be. In order to have friends you need to take risks and deal with frustrations, but it is so worth the cost.
No matter where you are in life – developing relationships, raising children or living life on the farm – make sure to be thankful for where you are and what you are doing. Someday things may change and you might really want it all back, mess and all.