Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

April 8, 2010

Cotton Field Hazards — Part 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

(If you  missed the previous blog, Cotton Field Hazards — Part 1, please read it prior to this blog.)

Hazard Two:  In the allotment given to farmers, the measurement extended to the furthest, outgrowing cotton plant.  For example, a roadway between two fields might have a cotton plant that had sprouted up in the roadway.  If I saw that, I was to measure the two fields as one.  That would mean that the entire road would be counted against the farmer in his allotment.  Or perhaps at the end of a row of cotton plants, a seed had blown three or four feet beyond that row.  We were then required to measure the entire length of the field to that one plant.  Again, a penalty to the farmer.

I faced a dilemma.  Why should the farmer suffer a loss of income based on a single plant?  Soon after I realized this situation and when I would identify myself to the farmer, I would explain the rules to him.  I would  suggest that he ride the field ahead of me and remove any plants that might bring a penalty to him.  Was I breaking a rule of my employer?  Not that I knew of!

But here was the real dilemma.  If the farmer was not home and I began to measure a field and spotted a single plant in the roadway or at the end of a row, I would pull it up and throw it away.  See this hazard for me in the cotton field?  Was I being an honest employee?  Was I breaking a rule?

The question behooves us about honesty, integrity, ethics, social lies, deceit, and many other words that come into play.  Have you dealt with such questions?  Is lying or deceit acceptable if intended to protect the livelihood of a family?  I obviously responded by my action.  But what of my responsibility to the U.S. Department of Agriculture?

All my life I was taught to be honest.  Certainly as a follower of Christ I am obligated to be honest.  I know that I did not benefit the farmer for any personal gain;  My only motive was to help.  I took the risk of being fired . . . yet I should have been fired for being dishonest to the task and rules given me by my employer.  I may have shown grace to the farmer, but would my employer show me grace?  Interesting thoughts, eh?    I’m trying to challenge you today!

The old question comes.  What would Jesus do?  I am not sure there is a chapter and verse in the Bible to give a definitive answer.  One might stretch the incident when the disciples ate the heads of grain on the Sabbath, and Jesus responded to the Pharisees when they accused them of breaking the Sabbath laws.  But, again, that might be a stretch!

My resolution–without having specific biblical passages as a guide–I would do it again.  And I will accept any judgement my Lord may have.  I am not trying to justify my actions.  This is only a confession.  Confession is good for the soul–bad for the reputation!  Most of all, do not do what I say . . . do what His Word says! 

This blog can stress the detailed attention we need to give to the daily choices and responses we make to issues we face.



Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: