It was the summer before my senior year of high school, and I was spending a couple weeks of my summer vacation helping my uncle George on his dairy farm. George was a very hard-working farmer who always treated me very well and was fun to work around.
We would always do the barn chores together and then the fieldwork or whatever else needed doing. In the summertime, that usually meant putting up lots of baled hay. It meant getting up early in the morning and usually working till after dark every day.
And did we ever get a lot of work done in a day. It was enjoyable seeing the barn and sheds getting filled up with hay to feed all the cattle for another year. There was such a sense of accomplishment in it, and rightly so.
On the day I was to go back home, while George and I were working, he said something to me that almost floored me. He said, “Next year, after you graduate from high school, if you will come and farm with me, I’ll will this whole farm to you when I die. You can have it all.” I was absolutely shocked to say the least. I enjoyed farming greatly and knew I wanted to farm after school.
George always treated me very well, and he had a beautiful 240-acre farm. It had some very fertile flat land along with a lot of rolling hills and some very steep woodland. He had a nice herd of dairy cattle, mostly Holsteins with a few Guernseys mixed in. He had a beautiful set of buildings with lots of large maple trees, more than 100 years old, scattered among them. George also had a very good line of machinery.
For a young man who wanted to farm, it sounded like a dream come true. George always treated me far better than my own dad did. I was hoping my dad would work me into his farm along with my older brother, but I knew that was very questionable. So when George made me this offer, my immediate response was, “I’ll be over next year after I graduate.” George was super happy and so was I.
But something happened that year in high school that changed all that: study hall. That period of the day students have to do their assignments in. On many days, I would get my book work done and have a little extra time left over to think. And did I ever think. Should I go and farm with my uncle George, whom I loved greatly?
Why did I even think this, you ask? Because there was one dark side to this whole thing that I was terrified of. Pornography. George loved his pornography and had it all over in the buildings on the farm. Not only that, the way he talked about women was very wicked and lustful.
I knew deep down inside that if I went and farmed with him, he most certainly would give me his farm someday. But I also knew that his pornography would destroy me. I did not know Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior, but I knew that the lust within me, coupled with his pornography, would certainly destroy my life and probably send me to an early grave.
So, sitting in study hall in high school, I made one of the biggest and most important decisions in my life. I decided to say “no” to George about his farm and the life I would’ve really liked. In doing so, I said “no” to pornography and lust and a destructive lifestyle that I’m sure would have ended in an early death for me.
And how wise I was. For the Bible says in James 1:14-15, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
After high school, when I was at a very low point in my life, I knelt by my bed one day and repented of my sins and asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. What a difference He has made in my life. I told George about Jesus, but he absolutely refused Him. George made me his offer a few more times over the years, “You can have it all,” but I always refused.
Sadly, George died many years ago of a heart attack with piles of pornography on his farm. The farm he used to have is in ruins today, but I’m not. God has taken good care of me and provided abundantly for me these many years. Has it been an easy walk, you ask? No, but it has been a wonderful, blessed walk with Jesus.
Oftentimes the world will tell a person, “You can have it all.” But the price it asks brings destruction and death to a person’s life and soul. I have never regretted saying “no” to George and to “you can have it all.”
And I have most certainly never regretted saying “yes” to Jesus and following Him. In the end, the world offers death and an eternity in Hell. But Jesus offers life and that so much more abundantly and an eternity in Heaven with Him. PD