Monday, July 11, 2016

The Wood Lot

"The mountain country shall be yours. Although it is wooded, you shall cut it down, and its farthest extent shall be yours" (Joshua 17:18).

My father bought a ten-acre bottom-glade of mixed cedar and oak trees with the idea that someday he would clear the oak trees from the grove. I was in college at the time and needed extra money so I offered to harvest the trees if he would give me the wood. He agreed and I set to work.

The following winter I spent many evenings and most weekends felling the trees, bucking them into 24" lengths and trucking them into town where I split, stacked and sold them for firewood. ($75 a cord as I recall.)

I was a young man then and the work seemed like nothing at all. I get worn out now just thinking about it. 

Some projects loom impossibly large as we age, not the least of which is dealing with habits that have been growing unheeded and unhindered throughout the years: thoughts not wholly honorable, feelings not entirely kind, impatience, intolerance, ingratitude—a tangled thicket of wrong–doing.

These days I have neither the strength nor the energy to clear this patch of old growth. All I can do is give the job to Jesus—without telling Him how and when to do it. He waits with eager arms to take it on.  

I come—Thine open arms enfold 
And welcome me within—
Let others work to bring their gold, 
I only bring my sin.

—Ter Steegen

David Roper


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