“Almanzo asked Father why he did not hire the machine that did threshing. Three men had brought it into the country last fall, and Father had gone to see it. It would thresh a man’s whole grain crop in a couple of days.
‘That’s a lazy man’s way to thresh,’ Father said. ‘Haste makes waste, but a lazy man’d rather get his work done fast than do it himself. That machine chews up all the straw till it’s not fit to feed stock, and it scatters grain around and wastes it.
‘ All it saves is time son. And what good is time, with nothing to do? You want to sit and twiddle your thumbs, all these stormy winter days?”
– Farmer Boy, by Laura Ingalls Wilder, pages 307/308
After reading the book Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder recently, I came away with a renewed realization of the work ethic from her time (late 1800’s). In my world, I have many labour-saving devices and luxuries right at my fingertips – literally! Right at this moment I hear the click of the laptop’s keyboard; without computers schoolwork would take much longer. Phones allow us to call our friends at any given moment – today it is a common piece of household furniture; in their time, you were envied to have such a comfort, if you knew what it actually was. Food processors, mobile phones, fridges, freezers, microwaves, the TV, and ATM’s are all part of our zooming, moving world, and yet, thousands of people, the ancestors of our families and our countries, lived and thrived without these comforts.
Today, are we so focused on saving time so we don’t have to work that we don’t want to work? In Almanzo’s time (the main character in Farmer Boy), his father taught him that work is healthy and good, and is, as a farmer, what you do. Working is how you spend your days, from before sunup until after sundown. A man or woman who puts in a hard and full days’ work has nothing to be ashamed of.
I want to be a person who is diligent, responsible and has a hard work ethic; willing to get my hands dirty and get tired from working. God intended us to fill our days with work (Genesis 2:15). Are we running away from it?