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The recent run of bad, rainy weather had me stay inside in my home.

I don’t know about you, but the thought of having to stay inside and not working on my yard is a punishment to me. I can look out the windows of my home and see what yardwork needs to be done, but it is not the same thing as actually cutting grass and picking up limbs that have fallen during the winter season.

As I thought about how the rain and ice had brought everything to a standstill, it brought to mind a childhood memory of bailing hay in the late fall.

Living in the mountains, snow can come at just about any time after August.

One of my uncles had some hay that had been bailed and needed to be placed in his barn. My brother, cousin, and I were drafted to help my uncle with this task.

It was a cold Saturday morning and my uncle told us in no uncertain terms that we were to work as fast and hard as we could before the sleet or snow came upon us. Anytime we would slow down our production, he would yell out, “Hurry up or the snow will ruin the hay!”

I bet he said that 50 times while we worked that day. While we are tossing the bails of hay upon the truck, a freezing rain started to pelt the ground. I wondered just how much damage a little bit of ice could have upon the hay.

Let’s face it, hay is planted outside, grown outside, and even harvested outside until it is placed in a barn to be returned to the outside to be given to the cows for breakfast, lunch and supper.

I wondered why my uncle just didn’t release the cows where the hay was located, and save us all a great deal of time and effort. I wanted to mention to my uncle about my questions, and even tell him my theories on how to care, feed and take care of his herd.

I didn’t want to come across as a know-it-all since I didn’t own a cow of my own. However, I have discovered some of the best experts in any field have not actually done what they are telling you to do. I have found this true with parenting advice, marriage advice, pastoring advice, etc…but the more my uncle told us that the cows would starve if we didn’t get all the hay in the barn before the bad weather came upon us.

I couldn’t stand it anymore and I called his bluff. I asked him, “Are you telling me that if the snow gets on the hay, the cows will not eat it and starve?”

My uncle listened to my question and gave this reply, “The cows will eat it before they eat a snowball, but they won’t like it.”

Question answered! My uncle was telling me that there were different levels of taste in hay, but the best level would be hay freshly cut and placed in a barn. My uncle wanted what was best for his cows, but the thought of a cow making a snowball and then eating it were firmly planted in my mind till this day.

In life, I want the best that God has in store for me. I don’t want to be removed from God’s will for my life and miss out on what he wants me to experience. What God provides for us will never be followed by regret.

The joy that Christ has in mind for his followers is never secondhand, or intended for someone else but somehow falls into our laps. To receive God’s blessings, you must have the mind of God. 1 John 2:15-17 says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world.

If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not him. For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” Ask God for the best blessings in your life, don’t settle for a “snowball” for supper when you can eat from your heavenly Father’s wonderful table.

Remember, don’t give in to sin. Think about it.

Vince Hefner is pastor of First Baptist Church in Cherryville.

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