When the whistle-punk sounded ‘stop’, the choker-setters had better be running. They had to get to the chokers, wrap them around the logs, set the ends, and get back clear before the whistle sounded ‘go’.
When the whistle said ‘go’, the tower operator took up the slack in the main-line, brought the turn in and dropped it on the landing within reach of the shovel — but was careful not to get in the shovel operator’s way.
The chaser on the landing released the chokers and the tower sent them back down the main-line for the next turn. The shovel operator sorted the logs, stacked them and loaded the trucks as fast as he could so they could race to the lumber yard, where they were unloaded and then raced back for another load.
Everything moved quickly or got left behind. Time meant money, and nobody wanted to waste either resource.
In the middle of this fast pace was another group who couldn’t have been more opposite if they tried. They were the farmers. Everything moved with its own rhythms. Each ‘turn’ for the farmer was a season.
They prepared the soil and waited for the weather. They planted their crops and waited for the weather. They harvested at the optimum time based on weather and market pricing. They got ready for the next season. Whether their ‘crop’ was dairy, beef, grain, hogs, chickens, horses or berries, their life moved at a steady pace.
No need to hurry. Do all you can today and rest well, tomorrow is another day. There is always work to be done. There is always time to rest.
I understood the logging industry, or at least as much as I could learn from the passenger side of my dad’s logging truck. When your loads were done for the day, you went back to the shop and made sure your equipment was cared for before you went home. Anything you could put off until the weekend without sacrificing performance was pushed back.
The two-week shutdown in the summer when Weyerhaeuser gave their mill operators vacations was the time for major overhauls. Life was not about time off. Time was money.
I’m a lot older and just a little wiser now. I am beginning to learn that everybody needs some time away from work. While the work that I do now is not physically demanding like the logging industry or the farmers, it can still be draining. It is time once again for the pastors and shepherds of this flock to heed the words of Scripture and follow the advice that Jesus gave His disciples, “Come apart and rest awhile”.
I heard a preacher speak on that one time, saying, “come apart, before you come apart”. There is always more work to be done, but God built a rhythm of rest into all that He created. Even in the midst of this paradise, we need rest. Jesus said, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” May you find time to rest also.