As I write this it’s snowing outside. No surprise for northern Michigan. Early and frequent snow is one of the things our family enjoys about living in the North Country. Though you may think otherwise, it doesn’t always snow here. When it’s not snowing you might find us enjoying Higgins Lake or raking leaves. Sounds like fun doesn’t it?
I’ve heard a few folks complain about all the leaves around here. It is a task to get them all cleaned up out of the yard. We’ve tried just keeping them cleared from the front yard and it’s been a big job. One thing you learn quickly is that if you rake too soon you’ll have to rake again. Of course there’s some wisdom in raking early – there aren’t as many leaves when you go back out for the second and third and fourth times.
One such raking exercise (pun intended) occurred a couple of weeks ago. Carolyn was out with the older children while the little ones were down for naps and I was inside studying for Sunday’s sermons. Hey, don’t laugh, studying is hard work you know.
The leaves had once again covered the front yard. Carolyn was directing the children to pile the leaves on an old tarp so they could be dragged and piled out back. In the midst of all that raking, dragging and piling, Jacob, our five year old said, “I’m glad there are more leaves so we can do more work.” I think what he was expressing was that he was genuinely happy to be outside doing something with his family.
Doing some good hard work can be one of the most profitable times of togetherness as a family. Proverbs 14:23 speaks of hard work being something profitable; “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” (NIV)
Don’t be afraid of hard work. Don’t neglect helping your children or grandchildren learn what it is to work hard. Some of the best times we’ve had together as a family have been while we were working together to accomplish an important task. A few weeks ago the older boys and I hauled and stacked wood for several hours. We were beat when we were done but it was a good feeling to have completed the project together. And in the end what was more important was the time together and what we learned about accomplishing something together that would have been much more difficult had it been left to one person.