Pastor in the Pasture: Making Ends Meet
On the ranch our feed wagon is a ‘97 Ford Powerstroke. It has a rattle trap flatbed and T&S Trip Hopper on it for feeding cattle. Let’s just say it’s seen its better days for sure. In our part of the country roads are rough and rocky and it doesn’t help not having equipment to maintain them. That equates to bald tires and pickup bodies that are barely holding together. The pickup noted above has a hood held down by a ratchet strap, the fender panel welds are busted at the cab, and it’s missing the plastic grill. It is rough looking and gets some looks going down the highway. We have done our fair share of mechanic work on it and had a local shop do some as well. However it keeps running so we keep using it…
Making ends meet sometimes involves using what you have. Sure you could say, “Well if I had a new one of this or a new one of those, then I could get more done.” However, the question to ask is how much of that is based on just a want instead of a need? We see that played out day in and day out on the ranch. Sure there needs to be new fences. Yep that windmill is about to go. That water trough has a crack in it. All of it could be replaced and be new but will it bust the budget? On top of that when we get a new one in a few months there’s something else bigger and better. It can be a never ending cycle if we aren’t careful.
In the end a whole heck of a lot of this is just based on contentment. Contentment can get you through envy or jealousy. Contentment can see you through a rough spot to the next shipping check. Contentment can keep your head up when you think you don’t have it good. Contentment can help when you look over the fence and think that the grass is greener on the other side.
Contentment was something that Paul dealt with in his life as he went around spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11-13 NASB)
What are some areas in life that you see yourself not being content? Is it material things? You know that those are usually just shiny things that break or are obsolete in just a matter of days, weeks, or short months. The newest pickup on the road can break down. The top of the line cell phone can drop out of a shirt pocket and be gone under a trailer tire. (Not that I would be speaking from any kind of experience.)
What about the things that you can work on in life? Do you find yourself not being content in your job? How about learning more or receiving the necessary training to move up or to another career? Is your marriage suffering or lacking? How about finding a resource to help you become a better husband, wife and couple?
The point being if you can do something about it and you’re following God’s lead then by all means do something. However if it is just envy, jealousy, or being mad at what someone else has then learn to be content. Paul learned the source to the secret of contentment. Drawing it from Jesus is the place to start…
I’ll see y’all out in the pasture!