I loved the middle of summer out on the farm growing up. There would always be a week, that perfect week, that the sun would be beating high and hard over the fields, baseball season for us little league superstars was done, and there was work to do. It was time to bail hay.
I know, any of you from the city don't really get this at all. I also know that all of you from the country think I am crazy because I love bailing hay. It is hard work, hours of sweat, cuts up and down your arms, sunburn and tan. It was so much more than that to me. Bailing was time to be a man, it was time to prove that my 12 year old frame could keep up, could prove its worth to those experienced, powerful farmers around me. Hay time was Kool-Aid under a shade tree, steak for dinner, and enjoy the evening sitting out on the porch with dad time. It was time to be with my dad, time to laugh, work, and enjoy him. He was a man, a real man. I remember looking at my wagon of hay, with bails off-center and stacked six high, then looking over at his wagon, stacked eight, maybe even nine high in a perfect square and just wishing, just desiring that I could be like him. I wanted to be like my dad.
And the truth is I still do.
I don't live the Christian life because I was looking for a moral code of conduct to live by. I at one point was a Christian for the protection of God, but that is not what has kept me here, walking this faith road all these days. What keeps me is my Dad. The hot summer days of faith, working in the fields of my soul and the souls around me, doing my best only to see that my job is nothing compared to Dad's. I stay a Christian because God is dad--he teaches me what it means to be a man--working, laughing and playing.
And it is my hope that when this earth is renewed and Jesus reigns and death is no more--my hope is that God and I can sit down under a shade tree and sip Kool-Aid, and enjoy a job well done.