The sheep have been rotated into the big pasture that also houses most of our farm equipment, including our big, flatbed trailer. It’s the sheep version of a jungle gym and unless it involves chewing wires or sharp objects, we pretty much let them roam wherever they please. Kevina and her twin brother, Gabriel (the one wether we’ve kept just because he’s so darn cute), have been having a field day jumping and climbing on the flatbed that typically hauls hay. I think it’s the flock favorite.
Kevina is our smallest ewe lamb, a petite 90 pounds. She's tiny, adorable, and as friendly as can be. Compared to the size of the wheels on the trailer, she looks like a little stuffed animal a child has left behind. She’s hardly the 7000 lb. load the trailer is rated to carry.
Now, I wouldn’t dream of burning up gas to haul 90 pounds on a flatbed trailer — would you? Nope. So, what’s a farmer to do? We wait till we have a full load, combining this-and-that commodity until we’ve reached the limit. Funny, we tend to do the same thing in life, don’t we? I know I do.
I might wake up with a relatively light to-do list, a thin slate of family obligations, or slight plans for the day. But instead of reveling in the lightness of the load, I’ll piecemeal together this-and-that (one more chore here, one more errand there, one more project to move on down the road) until before you know it, I have not just a full load on my “flatbed” but an overflowing one. Sometimes I’ll even squeeze in future plans, worries, and obligations (I think that’s what they call down on the farm “stuffing ten pounds of crap into a five-pound bag”).
Why do I do it? Because I can…until I can’t. We all have limits. We’re all “rated” for a certain poundage a day, and no more. Sure, we can keep those wheels greased with blood, sweat, and tears, and demonstrate some mad juggling skills. But sooner or later, if we exceed our load, we’ll blow a tire, have a breakdown, or cause a wreck that will leave us or those around us with a mark.
The chance to travel light is a tremendous grace. When we leave room on the flatbed, we leave room for God to fill us, surprise us, and to use us that day as He pleases (prayer, meditation, adoration, ministry, fun, anyone?). I know in hindsight that I have “missed” opportunities and moments that were meant for my delight, as well as forfeited blessings that were meant for my soul, all in the name of filling up and keeping those big wheels turning.
The next time I find myself gathering and hoarding things-to-do when God is asking me to honor the space for his plans for the day, I’ll remember this photo of Kevina cavorting on an empty flatbed. She’s having the time of her life and traveling light.
God invites us to do the same. When we allow ourselves to travel light, we’re empowered to prioritize, reclaim our ability to choose, and leave room for good and godly things.
So, what is God asking you to leave off your flatbed today?
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. (Jer. 29:11)