OUTDOOR TRUTHS: The Old Tractor That Wouldn't Start During Cold Winter Months
By Gary Miller
Several years ago, I bought 50 acres of not-so-prime real-estate. It was an abandoned farm that was mostly rolling but steep on 3 sides. I loved it though because it was mine. I could work on it a little at a time and make it the way I wanted it to be. So, my wife, my three children, and I moved from a brick house into a 960-square foot double-wide trailer that was given to us by a friend who had lived in it until she built her house. It was our plan to do the same. Among other needs to make this dream happen was a tractor. The tractor I could afford however was a 1950s model. It was a powerhouse at work but was difficult to start in cold weather.
I could tell after weeks of working on the farm that my patience was getting thin when it came to the work. I would get aggravated at the least little thing. It seemed that nothing was easy and as a result my thankfulness for the blessing of my farm turned into something that was making me less than I was supposed to be. The final straw was on a winter day when my tractor refused to start. After several tries I decided to let it coast down the hill and when it got enough speed, pop the clutch and see if it would jump itself off. (Some of you will have to google this procedure but that’s okay. I have to google google.) The plan didn’t work. So, I left the tractor about half way down the hill on a semi-level spot and trudged back up the hill but not before a swift kick to the tire, some terrible thoughts, and a few cuss words under my breath.
Later that day, after it warmed up, I decided to walk back down the hill and see if I could make this thorn-in-my-flesh respond. There was just one problem. When I arrived to the place where I had left my tractor, it was no longer there. And after doing a little search, I found it wrapped around an oak tree a little further down the hill and over an embankment. For some reason the first thought that came into my mind was God. I knew God did this! Heck, nobody else was around! So I confronted Him and said, “God, you did this, didn’t you? And I want to know why!” And while it was not a vocal reply, His response was as clear to me as if it were. He said, “If that tractor is causing you to act like you have lately, you don’t need it.” I never said “but God” or “but (anything),” I just said “lesson learned” and walked back up the hill.
Some of you, recently, have added something to your life. It might be a new activity, a new possession, or even a new relationship. As a result, you are not the man or woman you once were. And while these additions may be by the hand of God, they are not enhancing your walk with Him right now. Don’t wait for His corrective hand. It’s much easier to believe that God is using this little story to get your attention.
Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.