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Pastor and His New Property

A pastor once made an investment in a large piece of ranch real estate which he hoped to enjoy during his years of retirement. While he was still an active pastor, he would take one day off each week to go out to his land and work. But what a job! What he had bought, he soon realized, was several acres of weeds, gopher holes, and rundown buildings. It was anything but attractive, but the pastor knew it had potential and he stuck with it.

Every week he’d go to his ranch, crank up his small tractor, and plow through the weeds with a vengeance. Then he’d spend time doing repairs on the buildings. He’d mix cement, cut lumber, replace broken windows, and work on the plumbing. It was hard work, but after several months the place began to take shape. And every time the pastor put his hand to some task, he would swell with pride. He knew his labor was finally paying off.

When the project was completed, the pastor received a neighborly visit from a farmer who lived a few miles down the road. Farmer Brown took a long look at the preacher and cast a longer eye over the revitalized property. Then he nodded his approval and said, “Well, preacher, it looks like you and God really did some work here.”

The pastor, wiping the sweat from his face, answered, “It’s interesting you should say that, Mr. Brown. But I’ve got to tell you—you should have seen this place when God had it all to Himself!”

The Pursuit of Excellence, Ted W. Engstrom, 1982, Zondervan Corporation, pp. 23-25