THE FOOLISH FARMER
 
I. M. Toobusy was the proprietor of a valuable tract of land, which he purchased shortly before his marriage to Lotta Ambition.   Since Toobusy incurred heavy obligations in the transaction, it was essential that every operation be carefully planned and efficiently carried out.   In order to achieve this aim, he and Lotta sat down and mapped out a plan to divide the farm into fifty-two separate plots.   By so doing, they could grow just the things that would provide the greatest returns from every plot of the farm.   The hay would be grown where the creek ran through a corner of the farm; grain would be of several varieties and would be the main source of income; the cattle would graze in one place, while he planted a lovely orchard in another.   Flowers and shade trees beautified the plot where he erected his home, while the garden was not far away.   When he got through I. M. Toobusy had one of the finest planned farms in the community.
 
As time went by, Farmer Toobusy began to think he had done everything necessary to make his place pay for itself.   He concluded that he was working too hard and that he should take things easy.   His wife, Lotta felt the same way so she agreed that her husband should get all the recreation possible…even if the farm was neglected to some extent. It wasn’t long until a friendly neighbor called on Toobusy.   After exchanging a few pleasantries, the neighbor enquired with some concern, whether Toobusy had looked at his berry plot recently.   He suggested that other farmers had picked theirs about a week before and unless they were attended to at once, there might be considerable loss because they were starting to spoil. “Berries?” said Toobusy, “I didn’t think there was anything worth bothering about them, anyway, so I went fishing, instead.  You see, a man has to have some relaxation from this grind.   Thanks, but I don’t think it will matter much if I just lose one plot now and then.”   The neighbor left…in a bewildered state of mind.   A few days later Toobusy had another friendly caller, who dropped by to ask him when he was going to pick his peaches.   “All the other farmers have taken care of theirs---I just thought you might like to know,” he said, with grave concern.   Mrs. Toobusy replied that her husband was feeling very tired and was going to take a long nap to rest up.   She said that there were plenty of peaches in the district and that she could buy some if needed.
 
As the hot summer slipped into the bright days of autumn, a friend stopped by to chat with Toobusy, about his grain.   “Harvest season is here,” he confided, and “you have one of the best crops around, but my advice is to cut it now or you will lose a lot of it.”   Toobusy just shrugged his shoulders and looked at the sky.   In doing so, he commented that it really looked a lot like rain, and that he didn’t think there was much use in cutting it, before the weather settled a bit more.”   It didn’t rain though.   Instead there was a prolonged dry spell and the pasture land dried up until there was no grazing for the cattle.   One day the telephone rang and an agitated voice related how the pasture was bare and that his stock was dying.   He urged Toobusy to investigate without delay.
 
Instead of rushing to the pasture, Toobusy decided the time had come for him to take a vacation; He consoled himself by saying, “I think we have enough meat anyway, and so  long as we have sufficient meat and milk for ourselves, it doesn’t matter much about selling any.”   I. M. Toobusy earned the reputation of being the best excuse maker in the district.   He lost a field of hay because the day he was going to cut it, some friends dropped in and he stayed home to entertain them.   Most of his chickens died because they gave him a headache and he didn’t want to be troubled with them.   His boys became delinquent and were always trying to get something for nothing.   They were very unreliable and irresponsible.
 
Eventually I. M. Toobusy began to get callers of a different kind.   Complaints about his fields had reached the weed inspector.   He didn’t take a very friendly view of Toobusy’s poorly cultivated fields… that were rank with weeds.   He said he would have to condemn the land unless the weeds were eradicated.   It didn’t do Toobusy any good to retort angrily that he didn’t feel like pulling weeds after working all day.   But this was only the beginning of Toobusy’s alarm.  A rash of bill collectors came, demanding payment for overdue accounts and threatening to take civil action or even foreclosure unless their accounts were promptly paid.   Although Toobusy thought they were unreasonable and extremely harsh, he could not discredit their claims that if he would look after his place better, he could pay all his accounts.   No one had any sympathy with his excuses.
 
At last I. M. Toobusy began to see how foolish he had been.   He called his wife and family together and said, “I’ve been wrong.   I’ve been making a terrible mistake.   I’m hurting myself and my family by failing to give proper care to each of the plots.   We have a valuable farm, but it needs proper care.   A new policy is going into effect tomorrow morning.   We’ll work together and give proper attention to each plot of ground at the appropriate time.”   The family welcomed the news and agreed to co-operate.   In a relatively short period of time, the effects were felt and they began to prosper again.   Creditors ceased to threaten action and finally all outstanding accounts were paid.
 
One day Mrs. Toobusy came to her husband and asked if she could talk over another situation, which she felt was important.   “Husband,” she began, have you ever thought about how our farm resembles our obligation to Christ?   Your farm is divided into fifty-two plots.   There are also fifty-two Sundays in a year.   Every time you fail to give proper attention to your farm plot you lose something and in the same way, you lose something every Sunday you fail to attend church.   If you go fishing, golfing or joy riding, or even if you just continue working, you’re saying “This is more important to me than going to church.”   All fifty-two plots are vital to our farm, and in the same manner, our Sundays, properly kept, are vital to spiritual progress.   What you say about the farm is right and I will cooperate, but will you take equal care of God’s Sunday plots throughout the year?”
 
Toobusy was able to see the logic of his wife’s plea.   He was also reasonable and could scarcely wait until Sunday came to put his decision into practice.   On Sunday morning he marched down the aisle with his family and took a pew near the front of the church.   He confessed his folly in neglecting his spiritual needs, before everyone present, and resolved firmly to be a different man.   It soon became evident that the Toobusy family could be relied upon.   In due time they accepted classes in Sunday School.   Later on, they were voted into offices of trust and became pillars in the church.   They still work hard on their farm for they are industrious and diligent in everything they do.   The Toobusy family made a great discovery…just in time too: “You never FIND time for God…you must TAKE time.”
 

 

 

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