The Joy Of The Working

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I THOUGHT that I was a husbandman whom God sent into a dreary world. I toiled breaking up the hard earth and clearing off the ground, but the more I worked, the rougher looked my plot; for, where the briers were cut away, stones showed through the shale.

I was tired; and, when I saw God, I said to him that the vines went astray faster than I could straighten them, and that where I planted my grapes, wild grapes grew up instead.

God said to me that there was strength in the wild grapes; and I said, "Ay, Lord, but look at the stones." God said, "Do not I need the stones?"

And, when I saw that God watched me as I worked, I said, "The toil is hard, but I shall see the fruit." God turned away, saying, "You shall not see the fruit." I cried after him, "But there will be fruit, O Lord?" and God said, "For all your labour you get strength, not fruit."

I said, complaining, "Lord, it were so much better to find wild flowers that might be trained to be more beautiful; but there are always thorns for me to cut." And God said, "If there were not thorns, I had here no need of such an husbandman as you. "

I went on working, for then I knew that I was labouring to make the Garden of the Lord that is to be.