Do you ever feel behind on time? Like you need six more hours in a day and 2 more days in a week? We definitely do here on the ranch, especially this time of year! There are calves being born and the moms and babies needing extra attention, water everywhere to manage to its best use (because even though it is in abundance now we will be wishing we had more in August), repairs, spring clean-up, projects that had to wait all winter, fences to fix that the snow mashed(we are so grateful for the snow but it doubles our workload), and then there is the mud which creates a never ending sweeping job in the house.
We have found that following God’s pattern for honoring the Sabbath day has been our saving grace. Not only in abundant blessings for ourselves and our family but we see the blessings and miracles on our lands as well.
My kids had an amazing opportunity last Sunday to hear from 2 of their Uncles and one cousin about keeping the sabbath day holy. It was great to hear them bear testimony of the blessings that come when we keep God’s commandments. They shared powerful witnesses and miracles. I am grateful for the examples they have set in their lives for my children to follow. Being on a ranch creates many circumstances of pulling “the ox out of the mire.” These Uncles, my husband- Jared, my dad and countless other agriculturists have had their share of ox’s in the mire, ie pulling calves, getting cows off the highway, rescuing hunters, gathering cattle in extreme weather conditions etc.
Many of them have committed to setting the Sabbath apart as much as possible. My dad would set the flood irrigation dams farther on Saturday so he could skip Sunday. It was really a leap of faith because to get the best results he changed the water twice a day every day. Jared has sometimes fed double on Saturday to lessen the load on Sunday. It was neat to hear of the creative way others have strived to set aside the sabbath in an agriculture world. My brother shared the story of my mom and him getting stuck in a snow drift and having to walk a mile to the house. He thought oh good there goes church. Mom quickly got ready and told him to get ready, they were going even though they would be late. The rest of the family had already gone to church so they were vehicleless and had to walk another mile to church in a snowstorm. My mom set the pace in her dress and my brother followed along. He doesn’t remember what he learned at church that day but he will never forget that walk to church to honor the Lord by showing up at church even though there was every excuse not to.
These two uncles as well as my sons would love to participate more in their sport of choice, rodeo, or other horse events. Most of the time these events take place on Sunday. I admire their love for the Lord in doing what they can to set this day apart and honor His day by choosing to not participate in these activities on Sunday. They are often caring for livestock on Sunday but they do their best to utilize the Sabbath to draw closer to their Savior Jesus Christ and show their love towards their Heavenly Father. Many agriculturists feel that they cannot afford to take any day off, not even Sunday. As my brother pointed out, we are much more effective when we take time to sharpen our saw. Christ told us that the sabbath was made for man and sharpening the saw is a big part of it. We need time to recharge and the most effective way to do that is to improve our relationship with God. What better way to do that than to honor His commandment to rest from our labors and simultaneously choose activities that help us feel closer to Him and learn more about Him.
However you choose to honor the sabbath, I hope you will do what brings you closer to Jesus Christ. Whichever day you choose to be your sabbath, Saturday or Sunday, honor the religious rites of your church and spend part of your day learning more about them and their significance. Sharpen your saw and watch the blessings unfold before you!