Woodshed Wisdom

By Freeman Martin

Glancing out the window this morning, I see nothing but darkness. I mean, it’s really dark. Because of the clouds and general overcast conditions, not a single star could be found. And the smilin’ face of the man in the moon was no where to be seen.

But then I remembered that just the other day, the streets of our neighborhood were crowded and busy with workers installing new telephone poles for our street lights. That’s what we used to call ‘em back home at Route 4 – telephone poles – even though they weren’t used for telephones, or telephone wires, until much later.  

But the Rural Electrification Act, or something like that, strung their wires on those telephone poles down the side of that dirt road to our farm. And because of the REA, we had the privilege of doing our homework on the kitchen table after the supper dishes were done and the plastic table cloth was wiped off.

Many times Daddy reminded us how lucky we were to have that 40-watt light bulb up there in that 16-foot ceiling. With that long string and a heavy metal washer tied at the end, he’d always say ‘last one out, turn out the light.’ And, you’ll just have to take my word for this, you absolutely did not want that light left on when Mother got up at 4:00am the next morning to start cooking breakfast!

Half-way through a hearty breakfast of cathead biscuits and saw mill gravy, a country boy’s stomach would do back-flips when Daddy said, “OK, boys, who was the last one in the kitchen last night?” And for whoever that lucky soul was, his day started on a downhill slide with a trip to the woodshed!

And speaking of downhill, something happened one day that made us boys know that God liked country boys. We had been in the woods cuttin’ and loadin’ pulpwood from the time we got home from school till about dark-thirty. And, you know, there were no street lights on those telephone poles back then.

Daddy was gunnin’ the motor in that pulpwood truck for all it would do. And just as he came out of the woods, he made a sharp left turn onto the dirt road behind the barn. Well, glory be! He always made us stack the pulpwood way above the cab. ‘Gotta have a full load,’ he’d say. But when he turned too quickly to the left, the chain slipped on the load.

The overload to the right caused that ol’ truck to slide off into the ditch. And all that pulpwood came rolling off. Smack-dab into one of those telephone poles carrying the electricity to the 40-watt light bulb in the kitchen of our farmhouse.

We had to bite our lips all during supper in the dark that night to keep from snickerin’. And then we had to take turns holding the flashlight for Daddy to write notes to all our teachers explaining why we had not done our homework!

So you can see why I had a little grin on my face when I saw the guys puttin’ up new telephone poles for some of the street lights in our neighborhood last week. And you can understand my concern the first time I read in the Bible that there would not be any telephone poles or street lights in Heaven.

Now I’ll admit, it doesn’t say that in so many words. But when John is describing Heaven in the Book of Revelation, he did say there will be no night there (Rev.21:25). No need then for street lights. And no stumblin’ around in the dark, bumping into things. And no need for telephone poles to carry the electricity to the house.

In fact, the power supply will be so great, Heaven won’t even need the sun or the moon to shine their light on it. The glory of the Lord is all the light we’ll ever need on Heaven’s main street. And the lamp providing that power is the pure and spotless Lamb of God, our Savior, Jesus Christ (Rev.21:23).

He’s the light of the world. And if we let Him walk with us through the darkness of this world here on earth, we’ll never have to do our homework in the dark when we get to Heaven.

Come to think of it, if you haven’t done your homework by then, it’ll be too late!