“A man’s wisdom gives him patience . . .” – Proverbs 19:11
An old farmer once hired a buddy and me as day laborers to help haul some freshly baled hay from his field. Our instructions were to walk alongside the trailer he was pulling behind his tractor around the field and load the hay bales onto the trailer. From there we would go and stack the hay in his barn. We were young and strong back then, so the problem we had was that the old farmer moved too slowly for us as we were capable of working at a much faster the pace. Nevertheless he continued to putter along at his own speed and we dutifully complied. And guess what? By the end of the day the field had been cleared, the hay neatly stacked in the barn, and we happily accepted our wages.
Why was it that when I was young time seemed so scarce, even though I had a lifetime in front of me, all the time in the world? I always felt in a hurry, never enough time. But as I’ve grown older, even realizing my days are becoming fewer, time does not seem so important, almost even irrelevant. Why? Maybe I learned a great lesson from that old farmer who never seemed to get in a hurry, that at the end of the day everything will get done. Recently I came across a poem printed years ago in “McGuffey’s Reader”, ironically of the same vintage that would likely have been the old farmer’s school days. The poem went like this:
“The fisher who draws in his net too soon,
Won’t have any fish to sell;
The child who shuts up his book too soon,
Won’t learn any lessons well.
If you would have your learning stay,
Be patient – don’t learn too fast;
The man who travels a mile a day,
May get round the world at last.”
Given the choice to either be young and strong like I was back then or have the wisdom of that old farmer, from what I know now I’d choose wisdom every time.