Don’t be caught nappin’

Dad with Abigail: Coote Cup Best Hunter Brood Mare in Ireland 'on three occasions at the RDS Horse Show.
Dad with Abigail: Coote Cup Best Hunter Brood Mare in Ireland 'on three occasions at the RDS Horse Show.

The longer we live the more trips we take down memory lane.

As we open some old photograph albums, what treasures they contain, reminding us just what life was like many years ago.

Today people speak of revenue streams. Well, seventy years ago on our farm there was the usual little dairy herd, the hens, and there was always a sow or two around the farmyard. Mother said that the hens were the best payers, and to that remark Dad replied, ‘Indeed, they must pay you very well, as I buy the chicks and all the meal!’ So much for the livestock for the present.

In the fields, apart from a drill or two of early potatoes, the first job was tying, stooking and ‘barting’ the seed hay. Then there was the flax, and I recall the first year the flax puller arrived. It still had to be tied manually with binder cord, carted to the dam, left for a week or so and then lifted out by Dad and a worker. It was heavy, wet, cold and smelly work. Then it was spread out, dried and carted to Annsborough or Killyleagh. We enjoyed the ride on top of the load—no Health and Safety people back then! On to the harvesting of the oats (corn); then finally the potato harvest in late autumn.

However, we had one more revenue stream—horses. Dad was a keen horse man, and liked to have a brood mare or two about the place. However, that revenue stream was very fickle, though at other times there would be ‘a little turn’ in it, as the saying goes. It was always an exciting time when a mare was due to foal. Dad would keep a good eye out for any signs of the new arrival. However, on one occasion that I recall, he took a little doze for half an hour or less, but when he ran out in a hurry to the stable he found the foal already trying to get to its feet. The next morning, when he told us about the night’s happenings, he said, ‘I think a good name for that foal would be Caught Nappin’.

That story had a happy ending; but many readers, myself included, can recall sad losses, because we were not there when needed, and just having a little sleep. Financial losses are bad, but they’re not the most important thing in life, because our time here is ‘swifter than a weaver’s shuttle’ (Job 7:6). Time ends, and it’s gone. Perhaps we have been very shrewd in our business dealings, but have we been wise as we approach eternity? Have we ‘wakened up’ to the fact that we need to be ready? Deuteronomy 32:29 says: ‘O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!’

Jesus Christ, God’s Son, has provided salvation for all who really desire it. Revelation 22:17 says: ‘And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely’. Remember how, as children, we got down on our knees on a hot summer’s day and drank from some little stream on our way home from school? There was no charge, because it was FREE. So, in the same way, salvation is FREE; but it is not cheap because it cost the Saviour his life, when he died on the cross.

So, readers, drink abundantly today from the wells of salvation. Don’t be caught napping, because tomorrow may be too late.

The convenors of Northfield Bible Weeks, Newcastle, Co. Down, extend an invitation again this year: 8th—22nd July, Monday-Saturday 8.00 p.m., Sundays 8.20 p.m. DV. Plan to be there each evening. Rockmount Farm is no stranger to Gospel Tents; the first one was erected there in 1896!