Growing up on a farm sure had its lessons. My little brother was around five at the time and being five years older I was deemed old enough to drive the tractor in the fields by Dad. This hazy summer day the hay was dry now and ready to be baled but we were doing the small bales which needed to be picked up off the field, loaded onto a wagon and stacked. So my older brother was stacking bales on the wagon as my father walked alongside and threw them to him from the field. So I had to do a lot of stopping and starting. My younger brother was at the top of the bales playing and we all thought fairly safe until. . . I popped the clutch which jerked the wagon and threw him to the ground. . . under a wheel of the wagon !!
As the tractor proceeded a wagon wheel ran over his arm barely missing his head. He screamed and we then all knew where he was. I froze not knowing what to do, should I keep running over his arm or not and let him stay pinned under the wagon’s weight? As a ten year old it was a dilemma I wasn’t quite sure how to decide in a moment but Dad ran up to the tractor, slammed in the clutch and kept the tractor going and freed my shaken but fine little brother. The ground was soft enough and spared him from greater harm ! Yes, its only by God’s grace we all made it out of our childhood’s alive !!
What’s the lesson here? Maybe you can think of several but one I thought of is how we MUST move forward in our Christian life ! I had mentioned not long ago in a blog how we’re planning on seeing several folks baptized this Sunday in our church. They are moving forward. They have accepted Christ and now they are simply following Christ’s command to do the next thing as did the early believers in Acts 2:41, “Then they that gladly received His Word were baptized and the same day there were added to them about three thousand souls.” Notice the people getting baptized were old enough to receive Christ and the Bible knows only one mode of baptism: immersion. Most of us know that signifies what happened in the heart once saved (sins buried with Christ at conversion and risen to or moving forward in my new life as a Christian). The perfect picture is immersion !
At our baptism there will be several Christians watching the newer ones get “dunked” and me getting wet too ! All the people being baptized have decided to move forward but what about the rest of us? Are you still moving forward? What kind of example are you setting for those babes in Christ? Don’t stay in neutral content to let others do what you should in your church. If your church needs ushers, go forward to help ! If you’re not in church get it one like ours that could really use some forward thinking and acting Christians and GET INVOLVED. Move ahead with us rather than stay stuck in neutral. Don’t go back in reverse to old ways that displease the Lord. Move ahead by simply obeying day by day what you know does please Him.
It does get hard to go ahead sometimes, it can be frightening to do so, or your “gut” can be thinking “I’m not so sure, if I do, then this could happen?” Just like I panicked about in my youth. But God says its the direction to go, it will be fine. We know Jesus agonized in the Garden about going forward to the cross but He did for YOU. And the writer of Hebrews challenges both new and older Christian alike to slam the clutch into gear and go ahead with this admonition, “Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith,Who for the joy that was set BEFORE Him endured the cross. . .” (Heb.12:2). Yep it may be tough to move ahead in our estimation but there’s a joy AHEAD of YOU too and when you engage the clutch in reverse or just do nothing and stay out of gear you miss what wonders are just around the next bend. So today, keep the “tractor in gear” !! 🙂