It’s All Temporary

At the Cross-Dubya, as with any ranch, something is always in need of repair. It’s just a fact of life when farming and ranching. And if you’re not handy with tools and able to come up with innovative solutions, you’ll soon be a broke farmer or rancher. My three-year-old hay rings are a good example. They make each hay ring from thin-walled steel tubing, measuring over seven-feet in diameter; with four horizontal rings, supported by 12 vertical pieces. This allows livestock to eat the hay stored inside the ring without them scattering it all over the pasture.

Sitting in mud during wet winter and spring seasons, then baking in hot and humid summer and fall, steel takes quite a beating here in Texas. After only three years, one of my hay rings had rusted and deteriorated so much the bottom ring crumbled and fell apart. At $120 each, this meant keeping the cows from spreading their hay all over the pasture was costing me $40 per hay ring per year. Not good economics. Determined not to let the others meet the same fate, I brought them out of storage and decided to “weatherproof” them, hoping to prolong their useful life.

I brushed off the rust and sprayed rust killer on the lower portion. Then I applied a generous amount of Flex Seal™ rubber coating to the bottom eight inches of each ring. My thinking was that if water can’t get to the metal, then it can’t affect it as much. Since hay rings lay in the mud and muck, get stepped on by large hoofed animals, and exposed to the elements, helping them last longer made perfect economic sense.

In preparing to complete the last one, I found I was almost too late. The bottom ring that lies on the ground had already rusted and broke loose from the vertical piece keeping the rings in place. That’s when you realize how blessed you are to have a neighbor with a portable welder.

My friend Mr. Tom came over with his welder and we got to work. Using vise grips, we aligned the two pieces together, but realized too much metal had rusted away to weld. Using farmer ingenuity, my friend reached into his shirt pocket and offered a solution. By using a 16-penny nail as filler material, he welded the nail around the void in the joint; creating a sturdier connection than the original.

Working on extending the life of my hay rings reminded me of how temporary everything in this life is; including my life. As we were repairing a broken weld on a rusty old hay ring, God reminded me of the words His Son spoke to His disciples over two centuries ago.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:19-20, NKJV)

While Tom was welding my hay ring back together, I was praying God’s blessings upon my friend for his act of kindness. In that moment, God reminded me how the things we Christians do to help one another on this earth are “investments in eternity.” My neighbor and I will forget the minor repair job we did one morning. God has eternally stored his kind gesture to help another in the annals of heaven.

What we do in God’s name here on earth will reflect in the rewards we receive upon heaven’s upward call. Click To Tweet

Here in “God’s country”, our Christian friends and neighbors are always willing to lend a hand to help one another. Welding an old hay ring, borrowing or loaning equipment, helping with a harvest, or re-wiring a burned out fuel transfer pump—helping each other is a way of life. We do it not for financial or personal gain, but because that’s the example of selflessness Jesus Christ showed us while on this earth. I hope you’ll look for ways you can make an investment in eternity in your part of the world this week.

God’s blessings,

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Please join me each Thursday evening at 9:30 Eastern as host Coach Mark Prasek and I take a trip Around the Cross-Dubya. We discuss this week’s blog post, offer insight about the lessons learned, and enjoy the fellowship of friends in the live chat room.

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40 thoughts on “It’s All Temporary

  1. A beautiful reminder and lesson. I love the way God speaks to you through your ranching. Even though I have never lived on a ranch and am not familiar with much of what you share, I can fully relate to the lesson, which is a testament of how clearly God speaks and how beautifully you share it.

    1. Thank you Ms. Ann. I love the way He speaks to me here on the ranch too ma’am. “Hidden” within His creation (here in nature), without all the distractions of this world (most of the time) like sirens, auto traffic, blaring television, etc., I find it much easier to connect with Him. My favorite times are when I feel like I can sit back in His lap and just listen to Him. I’m able to give him my complete attention; and can relax and let Him pour into me knowing I am tucked safely away in His arms. 🙂 God’s blessings ma’am. Am so very grateful that you enjoy; and for all your encouragement and support.

    1. Amen Ms. Gail. Sometimes it seems they’ll never end, but if we focus on God and His promises instead of everything going on here in the world around us, it’s much easier to “keep our eye on the finish line” as Paul would say. I am so glad we are running this race together ma’am.

  2. Yes, my friend, everything in life is temporay and have expiration dates. Except Jesus and the gift of eternal life. May we be about eternal investments in the lives of others and lay up treasure in heaven.

    1. Yes ma’am. My salvation is the only permanent thing in my life. No one or no thing can separate me from the love of the Father; although many in this world try. 🙂 God’s blessings gentle lady.

    1. They sure do Ms. Tammy. What we pour into our children; what we pour into others; and what we pour into this world is what matters. Let us endeavor to pour love and light; like you do my friend. Thank you for being the wonderful example you are ma’am. We are blessed by your efforts, energy, and devotion to godly living.

  3. Things here on earth are temporary. Our treasures are in Heaven. Thank you for sharing your life. I always enjoy reading about the happenings at the Cross-Dubya. You inspire me. Have a blessed week dear friend!

  4. So, I got stuck on trying to figure out what’s wrong with the hay being spread out over the pasture as long as the cows eat it. I imagine you do have to be rather ingenious when it comes to repair work on a ranch. I still can’t figure how any rancher has time to help another with all that goes on. What wonderful friends you have. I was touched by your praying blessings over Tom as he welded. Made me wanna come to the ranch and sing to the cows or something as they gnawed on their hay neatly contained in the hay rings I bet they don’t appreciate like they should! Shame on them.

    1. LOL… The problem with hay being scattered everywhere is that it gets muddy, moldy, “bathroomed” on, and it keeps sun and water from getting to the grass underneath. Great question to have ma’am. 🙂 As to having time? I think the answer for me is “We make it for one another.” It’s easy to say “No, I’m busy today”, but if we’re going to be the people God is transforming us to be, we must be willing to MAKE TIME to help others. Sometimes that means I have to do other work I needed to get done later. That’s okay with me, because by helping others, I’m actually honoring God. Maybe this only makes sense to me, but when I give of my time to serve others, then I’m actually giving that time to God. He’ll redeem it! Maybe that’s why I’ve lived as long as I have. 🙂

  5. I love reading and learning about your adventures on the ranch, J.D. How wonderful that Christian kindness is lived out by you and your neighbors. That’s exactly what we’re called to do on this earth. Works don’t save us, but they, performed in the right spirit, will be the very thing by which God measures out our eternal rewards. May we serve one another as unto the Lord and store up treasure in heaven.

    1. Yes ma’am Ms. Karen. I like to think of them as my SRA (my Spiritual Retirement Account). Best investment we can ever make is Investing in Eternity. I should write a post about that. 🙂

  6. What a great example of Jesus’ teaching, J.D. Thank you for sharing ranch lessons with biblical perspectives. I love the idea that gestures of kindness are forgotten by us but not by God.

  7. Thank you, J.D. for the reminder of being selfless and the great story! I’m sure if I asked them, you kind and helpful neighbors would also credit you with much help for them! This reminds me of the parable, “The Good Samaritan…Who’s my neighbor – everyone.

  8. Your posts are always the uplift I need. It’s hard to think of my self (my body) as temporary, but God has promised us new, indestructible bodies. Wow! Meanwhile we fix and repair the bodies and things God gives us, noting how it’s more often, and includes more fixes.
    Thanks!!

  9. Sometimes I think I could use some welding together when life issues come. I’m not talking about JB Weld. I’m talking the work the Holy Spirit does to heal up brokenness that this world, plagued with sin, dishes out. God knew we would need a comforter. Sometimes that comes in the reading of His word and sometimes it comes by the help of a friend. Either case, it is a welcome sight.

  10. JD, often I feel I’ve visited your ranch through these vibrant posts. As beautiful as the “Cross-Dubya” must be—it’s temporary—as you pointed out.

    Thanks for another great spiritual lesson from the farm.

    Blessings!

    1. What a sweet thing to say Ms. Beckie. You sure know how to make a writer feel good about themselves. Thank you ma’am. And while our Cross-Dubya ranch is indeed temporary, I think it much like our life itself. Even though it’s temporary, I pray it reflects God’s light and love during its useful lifetime. 🙂 God’s blessings sweet girl.

  11. I loved your creative idea about putting an insulator between the vulnerable metal and the muck and mire that weaken it. What a great picture of our need to have something that protects us from extended exposure to the cultural muck and mire that gradually eats away at the substance of our lives and eventually prevents us from doing what we were designed to do. Another great window into more than one aspect of God’s eternal truth. Many thanks for another glimpse of the many facets of life at the Cross-Dubya. God bless you, my friend.

    1. Thank you so much Mr. Ron. I love how you showed me the way God can use my posts to deliver different ideas to different people. I honestly never even considered how the rubber coating I applied to my hay ring is analogous to putting on the Armor of God to protect my soul from spiritual attack. What a blessing!

    1. They sure seem to Ms. Debbie; that’s for sure ma’am. Thank you so very much for adding to our conversation. Am looking so forward to being heavenly neighbors with you and Mr. Larry on that day ma’am. Hope y’all like cows. 🙂 God’s blessings.

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