I’m continuing Lessons from the Farm today. If you’d like to read some of the other posts, here are a few of them: Keep Going, Know When to Stop, Same Destination Different Paths, Work Until the Job is Done, and Don’t Leave Cattle on the Truck.
Today, let’s talk about blizzards. Not the Dairy Queen treat, but the weather phenomenon.
In 2009, my wife and I moved back to my hometown so I could start working on the farm again. We knew it was for a season, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
When I got back, I found my dad’s operation was different than when I graduated high school and moved away. He had moved more to a cattle operation than a crop based operation.
In December of 2009 we got a few truck loads of cattle, and the weather got cold. January 2010 was one of the wettest ones I remember, but it was also extremely cold for our area. That meant the wheat (the main source of food for our cattle) went dormant earlier, which meant we had to find ways to supplement what the cattle were eating.
That’s where my job started. Every day (emphasis on every), I woke up, drove to the barn, and started the process of feeding cattle a mixture of grain and molasses, that I mixed fresh that day. It was a very hipster process–fresh ingredients, fresh preparation, every day.
I’ll never forget mixing grain and auguring it into the feed bin on the pickup while snow was blowing sideways across my face. It was a very unique (and cold) experience.
Here’s the leadership principle: our success (cattle gaining weight and selling for more money) did not allow for a blizzard break. The cattle needed to be fed every day, regardless of weather, and regardless of whether I felt like fighting the weather.
Success for you in business, in ministry, in farming, will not wait because of the storms you’re facing. I’m not advocating being a workaholic, or spending so much time doing your job that you lose your identity. What I am advocating, however, is acknowledging the times when you don’t feel like doing something are precisely the times you need to do something.
I didn’t want to feed cattle in a blizzard. Actually, feeding them was easy. I didn’t want to do the work to prep the grain in a blizzard.
Sometimes, dealing with teenagers can be challenging. Sometimes, dealing with church people can be difficult. Sometimes, dealing with anyone can be difficult. But the moment I don’t want to do those things is exactly the moment I realize I need to do something the most.
Get out there today, fight the blizzard so you can do what needs to be done. Lead well today.
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