Sundays farm chores not necessarily work

By SAM HATCHERAs you may have noted in our newspaper today, the 15th Judicial District Bar Association honored Lebanon attorney Ernest Cotten earlier this week for his service to the community and the practice of law.Reading this story, I was reminded about one of Mr. Cotten’s lectures to me several years ago as it related to working on Sunday.Mr. Cotton, originally from White County, still owns property there and used to enjoy spending a Sunday afternoon bushhogging on the farm or doing other kinds of farm work.He said he was once pulled aside on a Sunday afternoon by a passing neighbor who scolded him for doing his farm chores on Sunday. He was told by the neighbor that Sunday was the Lord’s day and that it was reserved to be a day of rest and a day away from work.The message was clear to Mr. Cotten from this neighbor that he was not to be on a tractor mowing on a Sunday afternoon.In a very kind but deliberate way I’m sure, Mr. Cotten explained to the neighbor that what he was doing on his farm was not work to him.He explained to his neighbor that for him the definition of work was trying a lawsuit, writing a brief or arguing a set of facts before a jury. He worked Monday through Friday in a law office in Lebanon and getting out to his farm in White County on a Sunday afternoon was anything but work.The neighbor may not have been so thrilled with Mr. Cotton’s explanation but it served a purpose.It validated the old saying about life in another man’s shoes.Congratulations to Ernest Cotten, 85, on his outstanding professional career.