Guest post by Patrick Collins.
“Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.” – Proverbs 14:4
The book of Proverbs is a beautiful book. In it we find ancient sayings from the wise passed down in short sentences to educate those who would like to be wise on how to be wise. These proverbs have practical application as much as spiritual.
So it is in this little zinger “where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.”
A more modern illustration of this might be: “where no dishes are the kitchen is clean, but many meals are made by the use of dishes.” The immediate application is such: if you don’t have or use dishes to make supper, then you won’t have to bother with cleaning them (which is hard and a pain). However, you will not have a family dinner either; which means you will not feed your family or give your family a reason to gather around the table every night. The question becomes, do you value a home cooked meal enough to cook and clean?
Or in the days of Solomon (the author of this proverb); do you value the abundance of corn and wheat that an ox will bring over the labor to clean his crib? Bottom line: IS IT WORTH IT?
All through life we find ourselves using this “is it worth it?” line of thinking. We pro-con things, and measure the value of our input vs. the value of the output.
This is not always foolish thinking.
When you go to buy a new car, and you have a family of five; do you look at a red Corvette? Is it worth it? How much output will be given to your family verse the input that you will give to the Corvette? (Not worth it, get the minivan bro)
This line of thinking is not foolish, but what is foolish is when the output is far and above greater than the input; yet folks still refuse to purchase an ox.
On average, my mother cooked AND cleaned for us at least 5 nights a week (not including the Sunday supper after church every Sunday). That took A LOT of work for about a 30 minute meal. I would say by the time she bought the groceries, cooked, and cleaned, the total time spent to do all 5 meals was every bit of 15 hours. The total time it took us to eat those 5 meals? 2 hours at most.
Was it worth it? Ask her. I am firmly convinced that she would without hesitation say yes. You see, it’s not just putting food in a belly. There is so much more happening here than feeding a hungry young’n. Like your salvation, there is so much more than what meets the eye. She understood that its love you’re putting on that table. The home cooked meal is a bonding element the family can gather around. It is a constant in a world of chaos. A medium to generate conversation and a conduit to foster communication. There is a whole lot more happening around that table then just five people being fed.
Salvation is the same way. Yes, it takes your all. Yes, there is some input on your part and you have to trust, have faith, give up yourself and follow Christ; but there is more to Christianity than meets the eye. When you purchase the ox and do the necessary to keep up the relationship with Christ, the benefits far outweigh the cost. The blessings over time are so much more than the sorrow felt sometime. It is worth it to serve God (world’s biggest understatement); know this, believe this, accept this, and act on it.
You will never regret it.
This post originally appeared on Patrick’s Wednesday Weekly blog at http://graycollinsweeklywritings.blogspot.com/