It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 (NKJV)
When Trucker’s barn mates, Indy and Tarzan, go camping without him, he misses his buddies. Horses are herd animals and don’t like to be alone. I miss his buddies’ owners who share barn chores with me. While I feed in the morning, John and Andrea take care of all the other barn chores like cleaning stalls, picking up manure in the pasture, feeding at night and letting them out of their stalls after they are done eating. That is such a help to me, not only because of the time involved, but in the summer, their work keeps me out of the sun and heat. I do my chores before the sun is up and the temperatures are as cool as it gets in Florida’s heat. So, when they are away in the summer, Trucker gets his two meals a day, but I let the manure pile up until the day they plan on returning. One horse is so much easier to take care of than three and three days of manure for one horse is equivalent to one day’s load from three. This morning, I went out to feed Trucker and the air seemed a little cooler, so I decided to tackle the many piles of manure he created over the weekend. Florida breezes are very fickle though. They tease and tantalize with memories of the outdoor chores you have avoided all summer long. But, as soon as you have gathered your tools and gotten knee deep into your project, the breeze disappears leaving you with lungs full of wet, humid air and clothing soaked in sweat. Bugs driven away by the wind return in full force to bite your ankles and buzz in your ears. Never trust a Florida August morning. There I stood with a manure rake in my hands, the heavy manure cart at my side and about thirty piles of poop in front of me in the scorching heat. Fortunately, Trucker is a very neat horse. He only messes in his stall if he is locked in there. Ordinarily, he selects one place in the pasture and leaves all his poop there. And that place he chooses is generally underneath a tree. At least I was in the shade. At first, I was tempted to just go back inside and leave it all for a later time. Recognizing that the day would only burn hotter and the shade grow smaller as the sun rose higher, I started with one pile in the front and worked my way to the back. As I scooped pile after pile into the manure cart, I thought about times in my life when the task set before me seemed overwhelming and endless. I realized that this has always been my way, to tackle one thing and then, another until the to do list was completed. Focusing on one pile at a time is a successful philosophy whether you are dealing with manure or life or a combination of the two.