Devotion in Motion: Make the effort

Today’s Scripture Verse:

Pr 14:4 ¶ Where no oxen are, the trough is clean; But much increase comes by the strength of an ox.  Proverbs 14:4

By Bro. John L. Cash

Today’s Scripture verse (at the top) is all about the care and feeding of oxen. In the time of King Solomon, if you owned an ox you had a very valuable asset.  An ox could pull your wagon, clear your farm, plow your field, and grind your grain. Owning an ox would go a long way towards solving the problems of hunger and starvation.

oxHowever, the verse indicates that owning an ox also creates a new set of problems. Clearly, if you own an ox, you have to feed it, and water it, and clean up after it. I have never cleaned up after an ox, but I would imagine that it is no small thing to shovel the dung that an ox produces. It’s just a fact of life.

Based on those facts, here’s my paraphrase of the verse:

“Owning an ox is a big hassle. But an ox brings a lot of benefits. So, the hassle is worth it.”

Living as we do in the 21st century, not too many of us have an ox or two around the house. But there’s a principle here that still rings true. Anything worth doing is going to involve some work and aggravation. But, quite often, the benefits outweigh any inconvenience.

Think about how much effort it takes to get your children to school and to extracurricular activities — but these things are certainly worth doing. It’s even more important to make sure your children are brought up in “the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” So make the effort. The hassle is temporary. But the rewards will be eternal.

john l cashDr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 29 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days has a desk-job at a public school, where he used to teach Latin on closed-circuit-television.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where it’s been a relatively hassle-free week.) Their kids include Spencer (age 23), his wife Madeline (age 23), and Seth (age 20).