Make hay while the sun shines - that's smart; go fishing during harvest - that's stupid. Proverbs 10:5 (From The Message by Eugene Peterson)
He who gathers in summer is a wise son; He who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame. Proverbs 10:5 (From the New Kings James Version of the Bible)
I live in a rural area of southeast Texas. The grass is allowed to grow and our neighbor cuts, rakes and bales the grass into large round bales of hay. He takes the hay to feed to his horses or sells the hay to ranchers for their cattle.
This week was our first harvest of hay in the 2012 season. It is very nice to see our grass green and the freshly baled hay in the field. Texas suffered a historic drought in 2011 and our grass dried up and died. We didn't have a single harvest of hay the entire year.
I started thinking about the saying "make hay while the sun shines." In general, it means to make the most of one's opportunities while you have the chance. It means to complete your work as soon as possible because you don't know what tomorrow will bring. It means to store up for bad times while things are good.
It goes back to the time when hay was cut by hand with a scythe. It had to be cut while the grass or grain was dry, so when the sun shone, it would dry out enough for hay to be cut. If you waited another day, it might rain, and the hay would begin to rot, and you wouldn't have enough to feed your stock in winter, and they, and you, would die. Life was dependent on getting things done at the right time.
So. The proverb means "take advantage of opportunity as soon as it arises. Your life may depend on it." John S.
One of Aesop's most famous fables was the story of The Grasshopper and the Ant. The ant was very wise and stored up food in the summer when there was plenty. He knew he would need the food to survive the winter. He was thoughtful and serious. The grasshopper was the merriest creature in the word. He sang all summer long, but when the winter came he died of hunger and cold.
Are you taking advantage of the opportunities that are available to you? Are you making hay while the sun shines?
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