One of the great truths of Scriptures comes from Proverbs 14:4 which says, "Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox."
In other words, if you want to have a nice neat manger that isn't full of messy food, or a stable that doesn't have dung everywhere, well then don't get an ox; but if you want to have an abundant crop you need oxen.
Everyone I know wants to have an abundant crop. Everyone I know wants to be successful, and wants to spend their life doing great things. The only problem is most people I know aren't also willing to clean out the manger of life, and shovel ox dung out of the stable.
The truth about life is that it is hard. Doing well in your career doesn't just happen, having a great family isn't easy, being a man of character doesn't come naturally to anyone.
Having great dreams and wanting to achieve greatness is a worthy and noble desire, but be warned -- if you actually want to achieve those dreams, you are going to be cleaning out a lot of mangers.
Success usually means getting up early and going to bed late. Success usually means treating ornery people with grace. And success usually means doing the tasks that no one else wants to do.
I hope you have big dreams for your own life, and I pray that the Lord would give you an abundant crop. Just remember -- where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.
Jason Dees is senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Covington. He can be reached at 770-786-9031 or www.firstbaptistcovington.com or www.facebook.com/jasondees.\