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The Junk on the Journey

September 6, 2016

Last month, I read one chapter of proverbs every single day. I find this practice invaluable, as I learn something new each time I read through these passages. Two weeks into reading, I came across Proverbs 14:4.  

“Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean,

but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.”

Proverbs 14:4 ESV

At first glance, this verse seemed irrelevant–one I would typically skim over, thinking it could only be helpful to people in a different time in history. However, after thinking deeply about this verse, I realized that it is relevant to me and all of us today.

This verse paints a picture of two different farms. The first farm has no oxen; therefore, the stable (or manger) is clean. It’s uninhabited, so there is no filth and no maintenance.  The second farm reaps the harvest of a hard-working ox. However, the passage implies that the stable is dirty.  If there is an ox working, there will be filth to clean up. (Okay, let’s be honest. Poop. There will be poop to clean up.) Yes, it’s an animal, working hard to bring forth crops, but it’s still an animal.

There are moments in my life when I get a sense of nostalgia for the times that were easy and less complicated. I may not have felt accomplished, but there were much fewer things to do.

The reality is this: There will be plenty of junk on the journey to success.

It’s worth it to invest in more people and more projects, but understand that these people and projects will bring their own kinds of filth and challenges to the table. Whether you are a part of a business, nonprofit, or ministry, you must be willing to face challenges to grow and thrive as an individual and as a company.

When you don’t like a challenge, choose to see it as an opportunity to grow personally.  Facing challenges is worth it.

Now, instead of groaning at the sight of your to-do list this week, see it as a challenge, an opportunity to grow, and an indication of the personal and professional harvest you are working to reap.



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