|My sister, Hannah, took this picture of me inspecting a bee|
hive in a sunflower field this summer.
I was talking with another beekeeper recently and he told me some interesting things about our factory culture. He reassured me that the factory mindset in the people all around us is not a mistake or just something that happened out of convenience, but was planned. I knew about some of these things because as a teenager I had helped put together information for people in our local school district about Outcome Based Education (OBE). I helped a group of concerned parents to alert the community about how their children would be trained to the specifications of big companies. Instead of teaching children basic skills so they could pursue their own dreams they were to be trained according to what large companies wanted them to learn in a cookie-cutter fashion. My beekeeper acquaintance told me how factories are purposely built without windows so people don't think about the outside world. This also stops the employees from thinking as much about time. He said that these things started with Henry Ford's company. Schools have been working at this for a long time. They would start the day with a bell. (Oh yes, I remember in parochial school the old bell that went off to start the day.) After a few years the young people would graduate (where did they come up with that term?) and go to work for Mr. Ford. In the factory the day started off with a bell. Indeed, they were being programmed. You see, the factories had tried to hire the old farmers, but it didn't work. The old farmers would not be forced to stand in one spot all day doing the same mindless thing in the sunless buildings. No, man was not created to behave like this. They would have to be trained.
He then went on to tell me how he had hired young people to do work out in a vineyard. He said he watched them literally melt. They didn't know what to do without their music. They couldn't face themselves. Most factories have music because of their unnatural environment. It's another way to get people's minds off from time, and even facing themselves. He reminded me that there is something very special about just going to a bee yard and only hearing the buzzing of bees and having your own thoughts.
|Here I am promoting my small business (Standing Stone |
Honey) at a local farmers market. It has been a good
I mentioned before that in a factory setting credits often go to the wrong places. Such is life. My Dad told me again and again growing up that "life is not fair." As a believer in Christ I want Christ to get the credit for the right things I do. This credit needs to go to Christ whether at a factory job or a home business. In fact, the Bible says that the man that is "free" is "Christ's servant." If you're working at home the opportunities to glorify Christ could be greater. If you have greater freedom, it is that much more opportunity to use that freedom to serve Christ. This is why Scripture says, "Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men." Now we can serve Christ with less freedom, but if you can be free be free like Saint Paul said, "Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. I understand that these passages are to be understood in the context of slavery and freedom, but I believe we can apply them to our lives in the same way as the New Testament believers by recognizing that God wants us more free to serve Him. I believe the parallels between the free man and the entrepreneur are striking. The decision to run a home business needs to be done with prayer and understanding as it is likely that rash decisions in starting a business could lead to greater bondage rather than freedom and would bring a quick realization of the saying, "better the devil you know." Be it known that taking some risks is a part of living in a free society.
For fathers I recommend that you instill it into your children that "if thou mayest be made free, use it rather." Help them to be able to think for themselves by giving them responsibilities over certain areas. In whatever lot of life we are in we can live free. We could be in prison, and yet in our heart be more free than a king in his palace. I think this is why Paul says, "he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman." Those that belong to Christ are His servants whether they control their own hours or not because He bought them. It needs to be our goal to seek to make our lives more free to serve Him. When we are doing our jobs, building a business or punching in the time clock it is important to not lose sight of why we do it. Winston Churchill said, "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." For the believer in Christ this works out in building God's kingdom; that is the end purpose of our occupation. May God grant us the wisdom to fulfill our purpose.
Measure thy life by loss instead of gain,
Not by the wine drunk, but the wine poured forth;
For love's strength standeth in love's sacrifice,
And whoso suffers most hath most to give.
For labor, the common lot of man,
Is part of the kind Creator's plan;
And he is a king whose brow is wet
With the pearl-gemmed crown of honest sweat.
Some glorious day, this understood,
All toilers will be a brotherhood,
With brain or hand the purpose is one,
And the Master-workman, God's only Son.