One thing we did do for a little while yesterday to get some fresh air was pick pecans up off of our backyard. We have a pecan tree in both our back and front yard and the pecans are now starting to fall. I love the them-it is the only nut I truly like to bake with-if it calls for walnuts most always I substitute pecans and so I was thrilled when we bought our house and there were two trees that were pecan trees. They have just started to fall so we went out and started to pick the good ones before the wild life-including our two dogs (who love to crack and eat them)-get them all. They give off a huge crop every other year and this is the year. Two years ago we had so many I couldn't keep up and when you went out in the back yard you couldn't walk without stepping all over them. The sad part was I was bound and determined I was going to keep them all and shell them all and have them to eat and bake with.
Well-I am sure you know the rest of the story-it rained and rained for days not quite 40 but close (which never happens here really) and I couldn't get out to get them all picked up and they just started to rot. Now had I picked up bunches and taken them to be sold for a few cents a pound or put up a sign in my yard that said free for the taking-I would have had plenty left for my family but I didn't. That greed of having all those pecans that sell in the store for at least $3.00 a pound over took me and I couldn't stand the thought off selling them or giving them away!
Ok-finally my part of how this fits in to the whole Ruth and Boaz story! One morning I looked out my front window early to see a man in my yard with a sack helping himself to my pecans. At first I stood by my window with my arms folded watching him somewhat in amazement that someone would dare walk into my yard and start picking up my pecans-I had no idea who he was-the longer I stood there the madder I got. My kids then arrived to ask me what was happening-at this point I could have used this as a great teaching tool ( at the time I thought I was but I was only venting and teaching my children a lesson I wish that I could go and back and change now) but no-they asked who that man was and I said "I don't know and matter-a-fact he is in our yard picking up our pecans without permission." I then launched into my lesson that day telling them how that would be like us walking into someone's yard with pretty flowers and thinking I like those they have plenty I think I will help myself to a bunch for my home. Well I admit today that I can't really believe not only did I say that but I then proceeded to walk to my front porch and stand by the mail box thinking he would notice me and leave or at least say gee I am sorry I just wanted a few of these and saw you had plenty hope you don't mind-nothing or the sort. He just kept picking and when he was done left. I proceeded to tell my husband the whole story to which his reply was-"Don't you think we have plenty? Maybe he doesn't have a tree and there were so many out there he probably thought we might spare a few." To which I was thinking whose side are you on? Then he said this, to which I will never forget Boaz allowed Ruth to collect all the grain she needed from his field. I must say every time we teach the story to our 1st grade SS class I am saddened a little for my behavior. This story was much like that of Ruth and Boaz. He had no idea at first who Ruth was when he saw her out on his field picking up the grain left behind by his workers as they picked the grain. When he did find out-he didn't stand there with his arms crossed or walk around his field hoping she would notice him and be embarrassed and leave. The Bible says in Ruth 2:8 "Boaz went over and said to Ruth,"Listen, my daughter. Stay right here with us when you gather grain; don't go to any other fields. Stay right behind the young women working in my field."
Then not only does he do that but in Ruth 2:15 When Ruth went back to work again, Boaz ordered his young men. "Let her gather grain right among the sheaves without stopping her. And pull out some heads of barley from the bundles and drop them on purpose for her. Let her pick them up, and don't give her a hard time!" So not only did he allow in his field to pick up the grain that had fallen he ordered his workers to allow her to be there to pick grain from the sheaves and for them to place barley where she could find it and pick it up! Whew-how do you respond to that-except to repent for a heart of greed on my part.
So next time there is someone in my front yard wanting pecans, I promise to not only let them pick them up and walk away, but if I can I will go out there and help them pick up more.
#1 I learned a few lessons from all that-as giving as I like to be and think I am-I still am so human and my natural instinct is what is mine is mine. Even though God was the one who gave them to me to begin with. #2 Maybe it rained more days ever than on record for not only Abilene but for Abilene in the Fall-because God knew my heart and thought maybe a good lesson could be learned by all that rain-that those pecans weren't really mine and that I had more than I could ever use or ever begin to find the time to crack and the Christian thing to do would have been to share them.
It makes us laugh a little now-not that it is funny but that when ever we get pecans that fall from our trees-like yesterday-one of us Mike or I will bring up the story of Ruth and Boaz and it reminds me that those pecans are plentiful and maybe this year I need to bag some up and leave them in my yard with a sign and a little scripture verse from Ruth to give away. I just might do it.
On the Pathway-