What one man can do another can do.
This is one of my favorite sayings.
The Padgett family has lots of favorite sayings.
“You can’t out give God.”
“Extremes are easy, balance is difficult.”
“Something is better than nothing.”
“We serve a God of new beginnings.”
to quote a few.
In fact, I have 14 sayings written down in my phone that are quotes we, as a family, have used for years and are still spoken on a regular basis. Some are even spoken daily. My goal is to make them each into a sign to hang in our new home. They are all truths that we have found to be applicable to the functioning and growth of our family.
However, the quote that seems the most pertinent to our current situation as a family is the one first given.
“What one man can do, another can do.”
This particular saying is not a creation of ourselves. It comes from an older movie that left a lasting impression on us years ago. We still consider it one of our all-time favorite films.
This movie, that was released in 1997, stars Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin. The basic story line is about a group of men who’s plane crashes in the wilderness of Alaska where there is a man-eating kodiak bear hunting them. (Spoiler alert) The men are faced with the reality that their only option of survival is the go on the offense and kill the bear. One of the men sees this scenario as an impossibility; yet, the older, wiser man says that there are tribes of Native Americans where young men are asked to kill a bear as a right of passage into adulthood. As an attempt to encourage the frightened man, the older man yells.... “What one man can do another can do.” “What one man can do another can do.” “What one man can do another can do.”
In 1997, I was 27 years old. I had 2 children and we had just started in ministry. For some reason, that chant of encouragement spoke to my heart and left a mark. It has fueled my determination through many difficult times. And now is no different.
At many times during the last few years, as our dream of homesteading and living off the land grew stronger and clearer in our hearts, Chris and I have had many doubts that we are capable of making such a large change in the direction of our family. Neither one of us grew up on farms. (Though Chris spent a lot of time around farms and farmers as a kid.) As a married couple, we have managed only tiny little gardens and basic, ordinary pets. We are not greatly skilled individuals when it comes to carpentry, machinery, or any other helpful ability. We are 45 years old. We have a ton of children (and books). Basically, from the outside, we are a hopeless cause. Any fool can see that we are setting ourselves up for disaster.
Our hearts long for that lifestyle. Everything in our being cries for our own land, animals, and food. We simply just really want this.
As I’ve said in other posts, I truly feel like God has led us to the place. It doesn’t make sense otherwise. This is the future He has planned for our family. A future of hard work, lots of learning, and great personal satisfaction. It both excites me and scares me to death.
This silly little saying has meant a lot to us recently. We tell each other, “What one man can do another can do.” There is nothing special about any other person who has undertaken this ambition. In every farming family, there was one individual who was the first farmer. He/She was the visionary. They dreamed the dream and went for it.
Recently, we heard a story about a man, that age the age of 65 decided he wanted to be a gold miner. 65! That is the age when most people stop working. Yet, he wanted something different for himself. He didn’t want to just roll over and enter the fast decline into death. He dreamed something new. After making a successful business, he passed it on to his grandson. The man is now 95 years old.
This journey we are on will take years to fully unfold. We will allow our homestead to grow organically. We will learn, make mistakes, start over, and eventually grow. The end result that I have envisioned in my mind will not be realized for quite some time. We are okay with that. We know the journey is more important than the destination. We are blessed to have each other as cheerleaders and our children as trusting followers.
In the end, if a young native can slay a bear, so can another man. And I guess if a retiree can completely change the direction of his life, so can I at the age of 45.
I AM NOT TOO OLD.
I AM NOT UNQUALIFIED.
WHAT ONE MAN CAN DO ANOTHER CAN DO.
April, 11, 2015
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