Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox. Proverbs 14:4
The oxen represent one word that most of us don’t really fancy: work. On the other side the work is abundance. Now we all like abundance, who would not want to have more than enough of everything? However according to this proverb we cannot separate the two. If we like to relax and not have to put in much effort, then our ‘manger’ will always be clean. We won’t experience any of the inconveniences that come with hard work but we will miss out on the abundance that it brings. So we need to “keep the oxen” as well as “clean the animal shelter” every day, work the land and it will produce for us abundantly. Going easy feels good but working hard brings better results in the end.