During our weekly bible study meeting last Tuesday morning, one of the gentlemen in my small group asked if we thought the statement, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life!” was accurate. The table had about 6 men sitting at it, two of whom are well into their careers and the other four (including myself) in various degrees of preparing to enter the workforce (grad school, seminary, undergraduate, etc).
Immediately, I jumped in- the resounding and unquestionable answer I have to the inquiry is yes, if you find something that you can love to do, then you’ll never work a day in your life. I plan to go into the beef industry in some capacity, but at the end of the day, I will always come home to find that I have a few cows around. I told my bible study that a farmer can work 365 days a year, caring for their cattle. Almost every one of those days will be hard, dirty, too hot, too cold, injurious, unpleasant, and by all means no cushy office chair in an air conditioned building. However, I said, there will be maybe only one day a year, one out of three hundred and sixty-five days, where a farmer will be walking up to the house, as the sun is descending in the west, and look out across their property to see a pasture full of baby calves running through the tall, green June grass, the designated babysitter cow watching closely, while the others are spread out sporadically across the field. As the sun turns everything a brilliant shade of gold, that farmer will not care about the frostbite they received pulling a calf in February, the twisted ankle in March climbing up into the tractor to feed, the sliced finger from opening a hay bale with a dull knife (they are never sharp…), or the three days spent in the barn cleaning calving stalls, the midnight run to the vet clinic for some medication for a bloating steer, the stress of watching the cattle markets fall and rise and fall again, the missed sleep, late dinners, early mornings, and all those frozen waterers… All of those inconveniences, all of those hardships and injuries and wear and tear and missed meals and missed social events… All of that suddenly fades away. And I know that this is exactly why I am here.
This is the passion that I have for cattle- I could work without pause for 365 days, and I would complain and belly ache and whine, but then one random day in June, late in the afternoon, it suddenly paid for itself, and it only took a heartbeat.
I would encourage all of you to find what you love to do- something that isn’t easy, may not make you rich, might age you a little faster than you would like- but something that, at least for a moment every now and again, makes you so happy that it was all worth it.