The one who gathers crops in the summer is a wise son,
but the one who sleeps during the harvest
is a son who brings shame to himself.
Growing up, we would often tune in to listen to Paul Harvey’s noon time report. We didn’t usually listen to “the rest of the story” which often aired later in the day, but Paul Harvey was something we would stop what we were doing and listen to. Our most fond memory is listening to him tell the story of “The Man and the Birds” on Christmas day. If you know me, you’ve heard me talk about that at one time or another. I’ve even played a recording of him telling that story a couple of times.
However, many of you are probably aware of Paul Harvey now because of a beautiful commercial that Ram made for the Superbowl called Farmer. They broke all the norms for superbowl commercials. I imagine someone in their marketing department said, “let’s do something no one else has ever done or will think of. Let’s use excellent photography and tell a story. Let’s not try to bring the most shock and awe, let’s not blow things up and have stunning computer graphic. Let’s do something different.” And it worked. Phenomenally! I heard people on various news stations, radio stations, twitter and facebook all talking about this commercial. I’m sure you did too. I’m including both the youtube video and the script below.
If you know any farmers, you know just how hard they work. They don’t sleep in, sit around and watch “The Price is Right” and then, drink a few cups of coffee, and maybe by early afternoon get busy doing some work – work for a few hours and then decide you’re done for the day. Even those of you who get up early and go to work don’t often work like a farmer. You may get up early, but you may not do the physical labor a farmer does and probably don’t have to work 16 hours a day. I have known several farmers, and they are some of the hardest working people I know.
When it’s harvest time and you’re a farmer, you wake up before the sun comes up and take care of the chores you can do without daylight. Then when you have day light, you spend the whole day out in the fields bringing in the harvest until the sun goes down. Sometimes you stop for lunch. Not always. Then, when the sun goes down, you do the evening chores before going in for dinner. You go to bed, and wake up and do it all again the next day.
When you’re a part of a farming family, you get involved in the harvest at a very young age. Everyone pitches in. So, to think of a son or daughter sleeping in during that time is absolutely absurd. It’s so much work, takes so much time and so much as risk if you don’t get it done. It would be absolutely disgraceful for a son to do this. Especially in the day this proverb was written.
However, in this day and age, most of us don’t work the fields. We don’t wear coveralls. We don’t have to milk or feed the cows. The most physical labor we do is walking from the couch to the refrigerator, if we’re really adventurous we’ll go get the mail. So, how does this proverb apply to our culture?
For one, we need to be harder workers. Myself at the top of the list. We’ve gotten lazy. Some of you work hard, maybe you’re a farmer already. You might not work the fields but you work hard and are diligent in your work. However, others of us are the son who sleeps in. Yes, we do need to do some physical labor. Our bodies were designed to work, and many of the problems caused later in life nowadays are because we haven’t done enough physical labor when we could. But, we also need to be sure we work hard in our jobs and in our families.
Second, we need to join those who are working. There may be people you know who are working hard and could really use some help. That’s another thing about farmers. When their friends who are farmers are harvesting, they’ll lend a hand. They help each other out. We need to help one another out. We shouldn’t just watch others work, we need to get in there and get our hands dirty with them. Not to earn a favor in return, but because it’s the right thing to do.
So, wherever you find yourself today – whatever your profession may be – whatever you spend your days doing, choose to be a farmer.
“And on the 8th day God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a caretaker!”. So, God made a farmer.
God said I need somebody to get up before dawn and milk cows and work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board. So, God made a farmer.
I need somebody with strong arms. Strong enough to rustle a calf, yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry and have to wait for lunch until his wife is done feeding and visiting with the ladies and telling them to be sure to come back real soon…and mean it. So, God made a farmer.
God said “I need somebody that can shape an ax handle, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, make a harness out of hay wire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And…who, at planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty hour week by Tuesday noon. Then, pain’n from “tractor back”, put in another seventy two hours. So, God made a farmer.
God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop on mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor’s place. So, God made a farmer.
God said, “I need somebody strong enough to clear trees, heave bails and yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink combed pullets…and who will stop his mower for an hour to mend the broken leg of a meadow lark. So, God made a farmer.
It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight…and not cut corners. Somebody to seed and weed, feed and breed…and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk. Somebody to replenish the self feeder and then finish a hard days work with a five mile drive to church. Somebody who’d bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who’d laugh and then sigh…and then respond with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life “doing what dad does”. So, God made a farmer.