We went out to my father-in-law’s family farm today, and we had a great time!
Some of you probably don’t particularly like farms, and that’s why you live in the city, but I would say that I’m only living in the city until I find a way to get out of it! I love living in the country, owning land and caring for it, it’s a dream I have for my family. I’ve found that when you own some land, and have some animals and a big garden, that it provides some very natural opportunities for training kids. I want to live somewhere that offers me chances to help teach my kids to work. I want my children to have to learn to care for things that, if they fail, will die. I know there are ways to make that happen while living in the city, but it’s more difficult to do. For example, where I live, you have to get a permit if you want to build a shed or raise chickens! Furthermore, we don’t really have the yard space to make that a realistic venture.
My kids are on the same page as I am. They absolutely LOVE being on the farm. They love animals, and they have pretty good work ethics also, and most importantly, they enjoy working with me. So, the idea of owning some land, and maybe even using that land to run some type of family business sounds great! No, I don’t want to live too far away from the city, maybe 5-10 miles out is all, and I also don’t want to own tons of land, we’re thinking somewhere around 10 acres. That would be enough though, to be able to have a good start. And being out on the farm was just a great reminder and motivator, not just for me, but for my whole family!
And yes, I know that maybe you’ve found ways to do all these things without needing a farm, and that’s fine, but this is my blog, and you’re getting my thoughts about life;-)
While we were out there, my father-in-law showed us the house where he grew up. His brother was there also and they shared stories about their childhood. My kids, who sometimes lack tact and insight, were having a difficult time imagining “poppy” (the name for grandpa) doing some of the things he’d said he did. It was at that moment that I realized that we often do that to old people don’t we?
It’s the nature of people to forget that those older than us were once growing up too.
Why is that? Why is it that so many times we view our parents or grandparents as having “always been like that”? Obviously it’s because we are thinking only in proportion to ourselves, but it struck me yesterday how selfish that is. I began to think yesterday about how self-centered our culture is today, and I began to wonder if our lack of respect and love for those older than us has something to do with our self-centered view of our world. Now obviously, those of you who are conservative would say “of course it does, Brandon,” but I’m talking more specifically. For example, there are many job fields and vocations out there today that requires us to think outside of ourselves. They require us to think about things in proportion to other people instead of just ourselves. If you are in marketing, all you’re trying to do is to think about how another person might think or feel. You want to know who they are, and you don’t necessarily want your experiences to muddy up the waters of your understanding. If you are a salesman, you are in a very similar position. You, at least with your words, will try to place yourself in someone else’s shoes so that you can best understand what it’s gonna take to get them to close the deal. Even just with our everyday friendships it seems we will try to think about how the other person is feeling when we are talking with them, but when it comes to old people, it’s just not the case.
We so often forget that people older than us were the same age as us, and it really comes down to only thinking about a person in relation to how long you’ve known them. It seems to me that in this area, where our culture tends to despise the aged, that our selfishness and sinfulness really shine through. We don’t look at our grandparents as having a wealth of wisdom and knowledge to glean from, but instead as outdated relics of the past. We think that because they lacked cable TV and evolution in school curriculum that somehow, they are unable to offer us anything. We look down on them and believe they can’t relate to us because they possibly didn’t have indoor plumbing or the internet. But this thinking is wicked….
See, the bible asserts that old age is more desirable than youth. If you need an “abundance of counselors,” scripture would urge you to find counselors who are significantly older than you. This isn’t the way our world works though, which is just another sign of the radical departure from a biblical worldview that we’ve undertaken. I hope and pray that I send the message of the blessedness of having grandparents to my children. I hope that my kids grow up understanding that it’s precisely BECAUSE our grandparents didn’t have what we have, that they are able to offer wisdom and insight into our lives. I hope they grow up seeing the importance of loving the “gray headed” man, instead of loving the man of this world. Our culture despises old people because our culture idolizes young appearance, and old age robs us of that, but it gifts us with so much more.
I’d encourage you to ask your grandparents, or any elderly people, what it was like growing up. I’d encourage you to remember that those older than us have a wealth of experiences that have made them who they are, and that we can learn so much from them. And I’d also urge you to fight the hatred toward the elderly that permeates our world. One day, I suspect that our world will realize that youth isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and we will regret the way we’ve discarded the elderly, not realizing that one day, Lord willing, we will be elderly too.