A tractor sits in an overgrown yard not far from my kids’ school. I’ve seen it probably a thousand times. Today, I noticed it. I noticed that it had wheels but no tires as it sits day after day in the northwest rain, slowly fading away, yet connected to something that happened in time. It was part of someone’s life once, not merely part of the yard.
I pictured that tractor fresh and new, with big rubber tires turning in the dirt. I heard the noise and saw the soot flying. Someone was on the tractor and he had work to do, brush to clear, deadlines to meet. He was alive and working and no doubt worried and engaged with life. But that may have been 50 years ago or more. Where is he now? What was he thinking about while he was working the land? All the cares and worries he possessed are now owned by someone else. The land was farmed, cleared, framed for living. People sweated, worked hard. Today, the tractor stands as a lonely reminder of time long past.
What problems are you dealing with right now? What are you worrying about? Do you have anxiety? Do you wonder how this all plays out? Those answers are beyond our grasp. We can only live today well, and this takes a healthy dose of grace and courage. But we can live with the long view in mind even when we make choices that seem titillating today, only to be devastating tomorrow. We may remember when we’re busy but bored that there are things (people) to invest in who will be around when the wheels fall off the tractor.
If we take the long view, we can put up with pain, persecution and uncertainty knowing that we are holding strong to the values that will be holding strong in years to come. If we have a worthy goal, the hassle is worth it. Here it is from the Book: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. The flowers fade and fall and the grass withers away. We wrinkle and crinkle and pass away. But when we’ve taken the long view, made the right choices, kept the end in mind, we’re okay. Our legacy is secure.
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1. If you’re having a hard time believing “everything will work out fine,” lock into one behavior that is solid, not based on fear or anger, and press on. Take it day by day.
2. Realize that faith is a central component of the Christian faith and it means holding on to a concrete gift of confidence that leads to the next point of understanding.
Psalm 37; Job 42
Dan Johnson is the Lead Pastor of Next Church in Tacoma, Washington and CEO of the Next Leadership Association
Encouraging Parents…Building Families
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