Have you ever heard someone say: ‘ One day when I retire, or when I have enough money, I am going to take it easy – I might go farming.’ Sure, the lifestyle on a farm must be more attractive than the hustle and bustle of the city. BUT how wrong is the perception that farming is stress free and an easy way to earn a living? It’s not just tough – it’s tougher than tough!
No matter how well a farmer manages his risk profile, nature is unpredictable and uncontrollable. Our dreams are regularly shattered by the elements. (In the past few years, the persistent drought and heat has been crippling). Grain farmers are particularly vulnerable. Farming is not for the faint hearted – you know that!
Farming is the most essential of all professions. Without the farmer and his/her tenacity there would be no food – without food there can be no life. And yet, farming is also the most humbling of all professions – there are no boundaries in the way nature amazes, humbles and disciplines a farmer.
I am sure we are all familiar with the lessons from the Bible regarding times of abundance and times of famine – about saving in the good times to provide for bad times. But the same lesson also tells us that no situation remains the same for ever – change is inevitable, no matter how long it takes. At this stage in South Africa, it can only get better – I HOPE!
When we wake up in the morning we HOPE it’s going to rain, we HOPE our seed will germinate, we HOPE the bank manager will…, we HOPE…and HOPE…and HOPE. Hope and faith is all a farmer has to hold onto.
Consider these three quotes of encouragement by Confucius (Chinese philosopher 551BC - 479BC):
- 'Our greatest glory, is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.’
- 'It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.’
- 'The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.’
Look for that cloud…Never give up HOPE – even if you have to start all over again.