Like a 16 Year Old on a Tractor

It was a hot one. The sun beating down could almost be heard if it weren’t for the grass crunching beneath his feet on his short walk to that old David Brown model 1210 tractor he was gifted a few years prior.

And the dust: Being blessed with fantastic ground for the arena also meant almost ashen dust when it got dry. Just lightly stepping in the arena would raise a small plume and there it would hang… until another plume replaced it, or the morning dew drug it down where it belonged.

And so each step launched the light film of dust from the crunching grass into the air and he moved on. Straight across the pasture he walked, down and then back up a slight draw and arrived at the side of the trusty ol’ 1210. The combination required to get her started commenced. He flipped the kill switch and walked around the front. Reaching inside he hooked up both leads to the battery. There was a short somewhere so the battery had to be unhooked after every use or the battery would drain completely.

Everything looked good. He checked the drag and it was raised. So, neutral was finally located, the clutch was mashed and she cranked right up. Immediately upon starting the old David Brown he had to turn the key back to the off position and remove it. Otherwise, the starter would burn up. She was purring. So with a half smile, he let off the clutch and was about to head to the arena.


Drag racing is probably an extreme description, but he damn near rolled off the back of that torn up old tractor seat. Clawing at the air like a drowning hound with a coon on it’s head, he managed to rock himself forward enough to see he was about to hit his fence. With the wheel turning as fast as it could turn he managed to just miss his fence and was pushing the clutch down and headed for the arena.

There aren’t any breaks on the old 1210. But, she didn’t usually go over 5-10 miles per hour. (And that was pushing it) Well, that wasn’t the case this day, and with the wheels turned as far as they’d go and the clutch on the floor, he slowly rolled into the back of the stock chute behind the arena where he finally managed to catch his breath.

Wow. What the #$@!*% just happened. The gear shift was in 3rd, but that’s where he always ran it.

And then it hit him.

Mark 13: 35-37

Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’

The nearly destructive drag racing escapade snapped him out of his “dog days of summer” haze. Realizing how he’d instructed his young guest the week before, he stepped off to take a closer look at the innerds of the ol’ 1210.

And there it was. The throttle lever was moved. Alot. The kicker is that the control lever from the seat of the tractor was broken. So one would have had to have gotten off the tractor and found the throttle and bumped it up a few ticks.

His nephew had stayed the week before and one of his duties was to drag the arena. And, he did a great job, too.

So what were the instructions?

Stay in second gear.

The goal here was to keep the speed down and make sure his sixteen-year-old nephew stayed under control while maneuvering a vehicle that he’d never driven before – Much less driven with a drag on the back.

Well, he stayed in second gear. But, by gosh he was gasin’ it the whole time! 😉 No wonder he was getting finished as quickly as he was. This kid is from the city, too my friends, so finding the throttle had to have been a little bit of an effort.

Well, a big smile came across his face while he was unhooking the drag in order to back up and get out of the position he was in and go drag the damn arena.

Sure are alot of details in this story. Yeah, well it was me. And here’s the bottom line.

I was asleep. I was bogged down in the routine. Auto-pilot. Zombie. I wasn’t watching.

We often times get so entrenched with our work, family lives, extra-curricular activities, and (gasp) even our church/spiritual lives that we begin to switch on the auto-pilot. We miss the point – Of Everything.

Wake Up!

Noses on the grindstone working all the day.
Rejoicing in the trials of life and trying to find our way.

But the way’s evasion constantly proves more than we can handle
Our to-do’s, and goals and missions burning both ends of the candle.

So stop right there and listen for the words of your alarm.
The owner of the house will come but not to do you harm.

The words may be a whisper from our hev’nly benefactor
Or they may be from the engine of a 16 year old on a tractor.



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