Wednesday, April 7, 2021

WEDNESDAY WISDOM: Can You Sleep When the Wind Blows?

 

 CAN YOU SLEEP WHEN THE WIND BLOWS?

"To be prepared is half the victory." Miguel de Cervantes

  

 


 

The story is told of a farmer who decided to hire someone to help him care for his prosperous property. The only applicant was an older man with a limp. The farmer, a little disappointed, reluctantly offered the man the job, but expressed his concern to the prospective employee that he couldn’t work as hard as someone younger and without physical limitations. 

“Don’t worry,” said the older man. “You won’t be disappointed. I can work as hard as someone half my age, and besides, I can sleep when the wind blows.” The farmer was puzzled but didn’t say anything.

A few weeks later, the farmer woke in the middle of the night to the sound of a huge approaching storm. He roused his son and told him to run and get the hired man from the bunkhouse so they could tend to the animals, equipment, and buildings before the storm hit with all its fury. 

He rushed to the barns to see what he could do to protect his farm from the dangerous gale. His son caught up to him shortly and reported he couldn’t wake the old timer. This angered the farmer, and he swore he’d take care of that unreliable hireling as soon as his farm was safe.

But as he and his son went from barn to barn and shed to shed, they found that all the animals were safely within their stalls and corrals.  All the tools and equipment were put away and locked up. All the doors and gates were closed tight. Everything was battened down; nothing was amiss. There wasn’t a single thing they needed to do, except go back to bed. The farm was safely sheltered from the storm.

Then it came to him in a flash. He remembered — and finally understood — what the older man with the limp had said in the job interview: “I can sleep when the wind blows.” He shook his head in amazement and appreciation, then went back to the house with his son. He climbed back into bed, but he didn’t sleep. All he could think about was a hired man, wise with years, who could sleep when the wind blows.

Can you sleep when the wind blows? 

Trouble will surely come to all of us sooner or later, but we need not be paralyzed in its path. Preparation is the antidote to fear. Anticipating and addressing future dangers will give us peace of mind. Living lives of integrity and service will give us fortitude and resilience in the storms of life. As my boyhood scoutmasters admonished us, “Be Prepared.”