Pastor in the Pasture Wendel Elliott: Shouldering the load
I used to work for a veterinarian that had mostly a large animal practice and specialized in equine surgeries. He is a talented doc and I sure learned a lot from my experience at that clinic. He would perform colic surgeries and arthroscopic surgeries as well as normal vet care. I got the privilege of assisting in some of those surgeries with minor details. I was tasked with things like opening instrument packs and surgery drapes and rinsing intestines with betadine solution.
Needless to say sometimes the veterinarian’s long hours became the rest of the staff’s long hours. Sometimes it may not have been long hours but a constant flow of livestock through the clinic for the day. Now granted I didn’t have to stay up all night with a colic horse but somedays I was tired when I got home. Norma and I had one son under two and another on the way. She was tired from having a young one plus being pregnant. She needed a break. Clay our oldest son was just a little feller and wanted to play with dad and excited to see me. I was excited to see my family as well. However, after a long day myself I was ready to sit down and relax. There’s nothing wrong with a little rest but at what expense to those that I was to be an example, help and serve as a husband and father?
Maybe you can relate? You know what it’s like to be tired after a long day. What about your wife? Has she had a long day? If she’s a stay at home mom there is no greater calling and harder job in my opinion. When does she have a break? Especially if there are multiple youngun’s under 4 or 5. She would probably like some adult conversation. She would like a break and let you have the kids even if it’s for 30 minutes.
Not only is this helpful to her but it provides an opportunity for a dad to have time with his children. That’s something that this society and country needs more of that’s for sure. Imagine if more Christian dads spent time with their children, what could happen? What if you put down the T.V. remote or device and took some time to get in the floor to play “cowboys and indians.” What if you took a second to show them how to do something fun. How to build a paper airplane, how to build a kite, or maybe teach them a Bible lesson or story. What would that do for you, your wife, and your children? What would that do to impact the rest of their lives and quite possibly the rest of the world?
I know it’s difficult, but anything that’s worth it can be difficult. How about sitting down with your wife and discussing what would help her out. Maybe you could come to an agreement to let you rest for a while after work and then you could take care of the kids the rest of the evening. Maybe there could be some help in the kitchen as well.
We find these verses in Ecclesiastes, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NIV)
It’s kind of like a team of horses pulling a wagon. When a team is down in the collars pulling together then the wagon moves along straight. If you have one of those horses not pulling it’s part of the load then the wagon could eventually wind up in the ditch.
Here’s hoping that as a husband and father that you’ll be pulling your part of the load.
I’ll see ya’ll out in the pasture!