I worked hard yesterday. If you know me, you know I’m a hard worker….but yesterday, I was outside and working hard physically…instead of working inside on the home responsibilities or working on curriculum projects. It was one of those days when there was alot to get done…but there were roadblocks in a lot of areas and so I chose to focus on what I could control…..and went outside.
Sometimes simple manual labor is a great and inexpensive therapy.
We have a small fenced pasture in between the large barn/arena and the loafing shed. I think it’s probably about an acre….but don’t quote me on that. It’s the pasture that I keep Zanders, my half quarter horse, part draft horse in. Sometimes we will put Lacey in there with him as she seems to be the only on that Zanders, the “grandpa” of the barn, will get along with. But as you can imagine, you know what seems (manure) seems to be more noticeable in a small pasture than in one with lots of acreage. It looked ugly and it happens to be a part of the property that I walk by or look out on most often. So, I hooked up the small trailer to our little tractor…took out the big mucking barrel and rake and started mucking the pasture. Three tractor loads later (small trailer remember)…….the pasture looks great.
Seems like a meaningless job……but wow, what a difference it makes to the look of that area of the property. The whole time I was shoveling I was working through various issues that had been weighing on my heart and mind……and there was something about the physical labor that brought it all into perspective.
And then, this morning as I was thinking about the difference the removal of all that “stuff” made…..I realized that sometimes, in my own life…..I need to shovel through some similar “stuff” to get to a place where the “land” is beautiful and clean. Some people may call it baggage, anxiety, worry, the past, regrets, sin, whatever…..but EVERYONE, and I mean EVERYONE, has stuff. I know that I do!
However, that simple of act of physical labor gave me such a realistic picture (and some physical pain and soreness as well) of what sometimes holds us back….or why sometimes we feel stuck. Yep…I’m sore today…..mostly in my arms and neck…..from shoveling and lifting that big mucking barrel to empty it into the trailer……and yes, you got it, sometimes when I’m shoveling out emotional or mental “stuff”…I’m left a bit sore then too….sometimes even wounded. However, in “His presence is fullness of joy”….and if I’m looking for lasting joy anywhere else….I will be disappointed.
Lots of spring clean up going on outside here at the ranch right now and I think I’m beginning to experience the same thing internally right now as well….and that’s a good thing…a VERY good thing.