In all of the fanfare of the Super Bowl and the much awaited commercials; sloppy kisses, astronaut babies, clydesdale horses, one did stand out. It features the scratchy analog voice of the now deceased Paul Harvey who narrated a tribute by saying; “And, on the eighth day God created a farmer”, He reminded us that one of the most common and overlooked among us, under the watchful eye of our Maker, could serve something sacred; the world of hunger and need. The tone set was one of gentleness and strength as he spoke of clearing fields and trees, heaving bales; yet “gentle enough to stop his mower for and hour to splint the broken leg of a meadowlark.”
Truly this was a rendition that could bring tears to our eyes in it’s simplicity and tenderness. I’m a city boy who married the farmer’s daughter. I see that temperament and caring that blossomed into my wife’s life, sponsored by the example of her father who tended to seed and flock all of his active days.
You may have your own list of “silent servers” yourself. I am reminded of a picture of a Drover (Australian mover of flock and herds) sent to me by a friend living in Bendigo, Aus. I did a portrait for him (shown). The picture tells the tale. In that interest, I did some research to learn what that dedication was all about.
The image that I got was that the Drover’s life was far more demanding than most anything we can think of. His lot was to manage huge herds; as many a twelve hundred at a time across the ever changing landscape of Australia: most of which was parched, dusty dry, and full of impediments. Their object was to move as much as seven miles a day for sheep and ten for cattle. They would be spread over up to a half a mile over poor trails.
Each Drover would ride four or five horses during the day, such was the taxing of the animals strength….. But the Drover? He just rode and rode; possibly as much as a year or two at a time – often into the night because of the intense heat. Their pay was so much a head (some of which they had to use for food along the way). I always enjoyed the American cowboy movies; John Wayne and the like. They were no match for him, so frequently did they just shoot a rustler or two, down great amounts of straight whisky, or become the sheriff and hire not too smart deputies. The Drover, he could only dream of getting out of the saddle.
We are all said to have special callings. Few of us really expand the kind of energy to arrive at God’s chosen destination, Even fewer take absolute responsibility for all those things under our care. I say “ Hats off to these guys. Can you sit a spell?” They would say; “Thank you, but no; the sun’s way to hot where I’m standing. Talk to me when I am done. Maybe next year.”
What drives a Drover? Responsibility and Promise! That should drive us as well.