It’s one of the most physically demanding jobs we have here on the ranch, and today it was all mine: wrestling irrigation pipe. This particular stretch of pipeline was relatively short, but every one of those 30-foot long, 10-inch diameter PVC babies had to be hoisted out of a ditch, aligned, lubricated, pulled and pushed uphill. Gravity isn’t that big of a deal if you’re strong like Hubby or Zach, but it is for me! To complicate matters, the pipeline follows a curved burm; pipes can’t be fitted together unless they are both straight and somewhat level.
As I huffed and puffed, heaved and hoed, several whiney, toxic thoughts sprang to mind about certain unnamed persons off traveling while I was home doing jobs that most farmers around here hire illegal immigrants to do. But since I’ve learned from experience that self-pity is a drag and anger is no fun, I decided instead to fight to keep my joy and peace.
“‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’,” I grunted. “I’m thankful that at my age, I can still work this hard,” I panted. “I choose to do this with a loving attitude,” I gasped. “‘Love never fails!’” I wheezed.
At last, the mission was completed; that corner of the hayfield was now ready to irrigate. “We did it!” I exclaimed to God and my dog, who’d been lending moral support from the road. I was tempted to collapse on the ground to rest, but alfalfa stubble isn’t much more comfortable than a bed of nails.When I walked home, I had something of an epiphany: If I had given an audience to my negative thoughts, the job would have taken the same amount of time, but I would have carried my sour attitude around with me for hours afterwards. As it was, I was free to enjoy the rest of my day!
“The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10