The Ideal


Okay. So. I know this is gonna sound kinda ridiculous, but nearly 5 years ago, Ram Trucks released a superbowl commercial that, quite frankly, touched my heart and has stuck with me ever since.

Now, I’m not a huge fan of Dodge in general (I’ve got nothing against them, I just don’t love ’em). I’m definitely not a sports fan though. I honestly can’t remember the last time I actually sat down and watched a sporting event of any kind. And to top it all off, I rarely watch television at all. So it might be kinda surprising that I’m writing about a truck commercial that, by today’s standards, is pretty much ancient history.

But for the past couple weeks (ever since my all-nighter, nursing a newborn goat kid), my thoughts just keep coming back to this commercial again and again:

Here’s the transcript:

And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a caretaker.”
So God made a farmer.
God said, “I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper, then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board.”
So God made a farmer.
“I need somebody with arms strong enough to rustle a calf and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry, have to wait lunch until his wife’s done feeding visiting ladies, then tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon — and mean it.”
So God made a farmer.
God said, “I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt. And watch it die. Then dry his eyes and say, ‘Maybe next year.’ I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from a persimmon sprout, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make harness out of haywire, feed sacks, and shoe scraps. And who, planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty-hour week by Tuesday noon, then, pain’n from ‘tractor back,’ put in another seventy-two hours.”
So God made a farmer.
God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop in mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor’s place.
So God made a farmer.
God said, “I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bails, yet gentle enough to yean lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-combed pullets; who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the broken leg of a meadow lark.
So God made a farmer.
It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk and replenish the self-feeder and finish a hard week’s work with a five-mile drive to church. Somebody who’d bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh and then sigh, and then reply, with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life “doing what dad does.”
So God made a farmer.

Now, I’ll be upfront with you — I’m no farmer.

Sure, I grow a pretty big garden each year. I wake up each morning and take care of milking, feeding, and watering a menagerie of animals. And generally speaking, 3/4 of every meal we eat gets produced right here on our One Acre Lott. But I’m no farmer.

I’d like to be…

As silly as it may sound, I feel like that Ram Trucks commercial (which was actually taken from a speech given by Paul Harvey at an FFA Convention in 1978) sets forth the ideal. It illustrates what I’d like to be some day. It inspires me to be a little more patient. A little more diligent. A little more caring.

Like I said, a couple weeks ago, while I was fighting off sleep, with a stinky, shivering goat kid (whom we aptly named “Skunk”) tucked down my shirt, Paul Harvey’s voice (and the image of “The Ideal Farmer“) kept flashing through my head — spurring me on to greater effort. It kept me going. Kept me trying.

True, at the end of the day, it’s just a truck commercial.

But like I said before, it sets forth the ideal. And it’s funny how much strength and inspiration you can draw from a simple ideal.

More importantly though, it makes me grateful for the One, True “Ideal” that we should all be striving to emulate…

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matt 5:48)

2 thoughts on “The Ideal

  1. It definitely takes a special kind of person to be a farmer. But I’m convinced it takes an even more special kind of person to be married to a farmer.


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