Sunday, August 10, 2008

Great Story to Start the Week

Hello my blogging friends! To start the week out positively, I wanted to share one of my favorite stories, written by Thomas Schwarz.

A Manageable Load

I had been mucking out the horses' stalls for half an hour and I hadn't made a dent. Because the winter of 1994 had been colder and snowier than usual, the horses couldn't be let out for long periods. Now huge heaps of manure were frozen solid.

Hauling the stuff out of the barn was not easy. The path was blocked by a four-foot-high snowbank. Dragging the plastic bucket full of frozen manure and wet hay was a big pain.

Each time I got to the door I looked for an easy way out. And each time, I recalled my mother saying: "Offer it up." That was her answer to life's hardships, large or small--offer them up to the Lord as a show of humility, service and love.

I stepped outside, pulling the heavy, smelly bucket. "Okay, Lord, this one is in petition for the continued happiness of my family." I thought of all the families I knew racked by fighting, separation and divorce. By the time I got back to the barn I had tucked in a prayer for those families not as happy as ours, asking God to grant them peace.

Good health came to mind with the next load. Here I was, strong of body and mind, able to do what had to be done. If I attacked this task in manageable loads I would have the strength to see it through. Again I thought of others not so fortunate. My aches and complaints were nothing in comparison.

Each time I offered up another load I came around to realize how blessed I am--with a home in the country, a well-paying job, good friends, a wonderful wife and two children. "Even this chore isn't all that bad," I finally decided.

As the winter sun set red and glorious behind the knoll of ancient apple trees, my wife, Linda, trudged up the path to do the evening animal chores. But I had beaten her to them, a truly unusual event. "What a load!" she said, staring at the pile the size of a station wagon. "Your back must be broken."

Not really," I said. Instead a weight I had carried had been lifted. My worries were gone, lifted away as lightly as the pale smoke coming from the house's chimney. Each care had been transformed into a prayer. And, in fact, as I stood admiring my work, the sweat chilling beneath my hat and sweater, I felt better than ever.


So, my friends, if you find yourself lugging big pails of manure---or just slogging through a challenging frustrating week, offer it up. Look for the good. And remember that He is always with you. Always!


MJ Alexander said...

What a great story! It always hits home to be reminded to "offer it up", even when I don't want to be doing "it" in the first place!

What a blessing -

Molly :-)

Denise said...

OMG..... what a great story and I think I will remember that a long time and tomorrow I will begin to offer up..... How the world would change in our eyes if we would PRAY and have a grateful heart with each load...... thank you my friend..... as usual I am lifted after having been here........

love ya!

diane cook said...

Bless you my friend. This story is food for my soul.

Angie said...

THAT was sooooo good! I loved it!:)
Yes that is exactly what I Need to DO! Offer it UP!!!
Oh this was needed today...I need to share this with Aimee too!

Shoecrazy said...

LOVE,LOVE this great reminder. Isn't it so true. If only we could keep this in mind, our life would always be lightened up. Thanks for sharing such inspiration!!!