A Stone at a Time, or How Not to Plow a Field

My favorite castle in Ireland, Ballycarbery, was built one stone at a time. They did the work. Photo: Ed Lyons, 2009

Worries. Anxiety. Circular thoughts that go nowhere. When these things hit me, I head outside to the garden. Pick the beans, discard the bad leaves, plant fall spinach, kale and carrot seeds. Water. Just doing the work in God’s good earth quiets my mind every time.

As I dig my hands into the dirt, I am thinking of some of my favorite quotes about work.

“You’ll never plow a field by turning it over in your mind.” – Irish proverb

“Castles were built a stone at a time.” – Irish proverb

“Pick the potatoes yourself, Joseph; you ambitious boy.” – Far and Away, film 1992, directed by Ron Howard

So now, instead of snapping and freezing the green beans, which I was going to do, I am writing this. But that’s ok. Work is work, no matter what kind of work it is. It keeps the hands busy, the mind active on positive things.

Which reminds me of another good quote I heard a lot growing up: “Idle hands are the Devil’s playthings.”

The Enemy likes nothing better than for me to be idle, to be aimless, to worry, to fret. It breeds fear and anxiety. It is not good.

So now I will snap the beans. I am grateful. I am feeling productive. God will take care of the rest.

Love to you, Lisa

2 thoughts on “A Stone at a Time, or How Not to Plow a Field

  1. I needed just this reminder today, Lisa: “Idle hands (or thoughts) are the devil’s playthings”. Exactly right. I needed that reminder. Think I’ll “snap” something, too.

  2. Lisa:
    I read your note and there is a simple smile on my face. These little things are really things of greatness to the heart of a person of the household of Christ.
    Douglas Dwyer

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