Definition of “toil” (Merriam-Webster)
: long strenuous fatiguing labor
“Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.”
“So the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground, breathed life into his lungs, and the man became a living being.”
Man was formed from the ground. In toil we will eat of the ground. What can be said about the ground and of toil these days? How does it relate to our work present day?
I have been blessed to know a fair number of farmers in my life. There’s a deep respect between farmers and the resources they steward. When it comes to a growing crops in a field, there’s always something a farmer must address and tend to.
Keeping any livestock out of the picture, here’s just a handful of things I’d like to relate between farming and other types of work:
- Equipment and tools to maintain
- Large rocks or sinkholes
- Pests and weeds
- Brush and trees that border a field ( have come down over the winter
Farmers work in a constant cycle of activity that includes things on the list above. Rest and enjoying some of the fruits of labor are available at some point, but historically that’s not always been the case.
Maintain. Prepare. Sow. Reap. And don’t forget all of the relationships and various obligations to keep up with. Does the farmer have a family? How tied to their local community are they? There are needs to tend to all around before, during, and after soil is prepared or crops have been planted.
Stay tuned for my next post where I’ll try to draw some analogies among the toil of Adam, farming, and present day work from my experiences to date.
In the meantime, have you thought about your work like this? Do you have some other analogy for how you relate to your work? I’d love to hear from you if you have.