A simple thought for the day from Proverbs:

“Where no oxen are, the manger is clean,
But much revenue comes by the strength of the ox.” (Pr 14.4)

Sometimes we convince ourselves that, the simpler we make life, the better it will be. However, what we often fail to realize is that it’s the complicated, messy things that are necessary for real success.

Take, for example, our good friend the ox. Oxen are big, awkward, smelly, and a real pain to clean up after; however, in Solomon’s day (and even in some parts of the world today), a farmer with no oxen would have no livelyhood, because he wouldn’t have the means to produce enough…erm…produce to make a living.

This holds just as true for our own lives. Sometimes it’s the things that are a real pain that are the things that we need in order to be more successful. This is particularly true in our walk with God. God pursued us in the most inconvenient possible that we might benefit from it. Jesus asks that we, in response, deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow him. He reminds us that nothing worthwile is ever convenient. The benefits of having an ox far outweigh the inconveniences, but it’s through the inconveniences that we are able to better value the benefits. Sometimes we need to suffer through those inconveniences in order to see the greatest benefit. Sometimes we need to suffer through cleaning the stable in order to generate revenue.

Where could you benefit from having an ox or two?