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Location: Somewhere in the Heart of Dixie

Redeemed Sinner. Deep Roots. Southern Heart.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Agrarian Lifestyle

We are blessed to live in a part of the country where you are considered unusual if you do not have a garden. We are extremely blessed to be able to garden. I am convinced God intended humans to live off of the land. When I am working out in the garden I feel an incredible sense of fulfillment: God made me to work outside.

Every boy in "the valley" (where we live) has thrown hay. It's kind of a passage rite into manhood. For those of you that don't know, throwing hay is a fancy term for picking up the hay bales after they have been cut. It's hot, it's tiring, and it's good manual labor. Really manual. Several weeks ago, I and my brother, along with three buddies, threw hay for our across the road neighbor. We were hurrying to get it in before it rained. It was with a great sense of satisfaction that we slammed the door shut on the last hay bale as thunder rumbled in the distance. Mr. Liverett, our boss, then led us in prayer as we thanked the Lord for allowing us to get the hay in. I thought, people don't do this anymore.

The Lord has ingrained in all men a natural desire to work the land with his hands. I believe the God's curse on Adam has something to do with this. You can also see this in the promises God gives to the Old Testament patriarchs. But when the Industrial Revolution began, more and more people moved away from the land. The land was abused and violated. In today's mainstream society, manual labor is looked down upon.

But what is it about the land?

Most people don't understand this: the land is an inheritance. It is a piece of family history, a gift from God, a provider. Something worth dying for! All throughout the Old Testament, the nation of Israel placed a high value on the land. When Ahab demanded Naboth's vineyard, Naboth replied, "The Lord keep me from giving the inheritance of my fathers unto thee". Both the Scots and their descendants, the soldiers of the Southern army were fighting an invader who was seeking to take their land and put it under the jurisdiction of the Government. Douglas Southall Freeman once said, "I think the American people lose a large part of the joy of life because they do not live for generations in the same place".

After all, there is only so much land.

Here's a poem my family and I really appreciate. I have no idea who wrote it.

Let the wealthy and great
Roll in splendor and state
I envy them not, I declare it.
I eat my own lamb
My own chickens and ham
I shear my own fleece and I wear it.
I have lawns, I have bowers
I have fruits, I have flowers
The lark is my morning alarmer.
So jolly boys now
Here's God speed the plow
Long life and success to the
Farmer

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