Several years ago we began looking for a place to buy in order to build a house. We wanted a small acreage where we could have a few cows and some chickens and the kids could have a horse or two. Another thing that we were looking for was a place with lots of pecan trees. It was our hope that the trees would produce enough pecans to help pay the property taxes and provide a little extra spending money.
After several years of searching, the Lord blessed us with the perfect place. It was small enough to be within our budget and big enough to pasture a few cows and horses. And it has lots of pecan trees.
Well, after fifteen years on the place, I can honestly say that those pecan trees have been very profitable. No, we haven’t made much money on pecans. In fact, we have only had three years out of fifteen that our trees made a marketable crop. And if we were to figure up the time we have spent caring for the trees, we probably haven’t made fifty cents an hour. But…not all profit is measured in money!
Have you ever shook the pecans off a tree and then sat down with your kids under the tree to pick up those pecans? Yes, I know there are machines to do that now, but we just did it the old-fashioned way…by hand. And as we sat there picking up those pecans, something wonderful happened! We talked!
There was no TV, no radio, no CD play, no telephone, no loud machinery. The only sounds that could be heard were the birds singing, an occasional squirrel chattering and the sounds of the pecans being dropped in the buckets. There was nothing else to do but pick up pecans and pass the time with conversation. We talked about funny things, sad things, happy things and serious things. Occasionally we would
discuss some deep philosophical issue. Often the conversation turned to God’s Word and the applications that could be made to life circumstances. Those hours that we spent picking up pecans have been some of my most enjoyable and profitable times with my children.
It seems to me that this is something that is missing in families today, the opportunity to talk. When we are at home the TV is on. When we are in our cars the radio is playing. When we are working in the yard the lawn mower or the weed eater is running. When we are doing the housework, it is the vacuum cleaner, washing machine or dishwasher. Our modern world of industry and technology has given us machinery and appliances that can do just about ever menial task that was once done by hand. But what has this luxury cost us? As wonderful as these appliances are, have they robbed us of the opportunities to talk to our children?
In Deuteronomy 6: 6-7, God told the Israelites, These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Talking to our children is so vitally important to our relationship with them and their relationship with God.
In days gone by, when most of the work was done by hand, the work was hard and tedious. Washing clothes on a rub board, or snapping beans, shelling corn or weeding cotton with a gooseneck hoe was back-breaking work…but it provided an atmosphere that was conducive to conversation. Maybe that is why we call them THE GOOD OLD DAYS. 1 am not suggesting that we toss our modern conveniences and move back into the 19th century. I am as spoiled to these luxuries as anyone. But we do need to make a deliberate effort as parents to create in our homes an atmosphere that cultivates meaningful conversation with our children.
By: Wendell Ingram
Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord and the fruit of the womb is His reward. Psalm 127:3