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whole hog
Go Ahead, Make My Day…

“One of us is leave’n in a trailer…”

Between engineering college and Bible College I took a detour into pig farming. (Yeah, I know… but it seemed like a good idea at the time.) One day my partner and I were rounding up some pigs to move to another barn. We herded most of them into the trailer but there was one pig that just refused to go.

Pigs are very strong animals and this one weighed in at about 100 lbs. I would feint this way and that pig would run the other way. Having rained, the ground was slippery and mud flew everywhere. After about fifteen minutes of this cat and mouse game I started to become frustrated.

“You’re goin’ down, Oinker!”

It was me or the pig…and I was sure not going to be the one in that trailer. I ran after the pig one more time and lunged for his hind legs. I grabbed one but he shook loose, but just as that ham hock slipped out of my grip I grasped the other one. The pig squealed for dear life but I would not let go. I literally climbed up that pigs hind-side little by little until I had him by both legs. I don’t know how long we rolled around but I was covered with mud from head to toe.

Suddenly, the pig just stopped. I guess he knew it was all over and decided to accept his fate. I stood up, picked up his hind legs, and like a wheelbarrow, walked him on his front legs into the trailer. Slamming the gate shut I sat down exhausted.

I have no doubts now

My partner, an older man (I was in my early twenties) said, “You know Mike, I was wondering if you would stick with this pig raising thing. But after watching you wrestle that hog down I have no doubts you will stick it out.”

There came a point, in my struggle with that stubborn swine, that I just decided to go whole hog. I was not going to let go no matter what and I think that pig realized that.

God says,

“…And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.”

Genesis 32:26

I think I experienced just a little bit of mindset and determination that Jacob had as he wrestled with the Angel of the Lord. There comes a point where you pull out all the stops and you decide to prevail or die trying. I think God respects this type of “no holds barred” determination to lay hold of Him and His blessing. If we want to prevail with God we can’t hold anything back and we can’t care what we look like even if we become a muddy mess while doing it.

Though that particular pig is long since bacon, I learned from wrestling him down that sometimes you have to give it everything you’ve got in order to win. Believe me, there is more resolve inside you than you might think.  You have just got to really want it.  Dig deep and go “whole hog” with God and I know you will prevail too.

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