MIDDLE OF THE WOODS

We’re in the middle of the woods and daddy says to me, ‘. . . back that truck up and start loading.”  I’m thinking to myself, ‘is he kidding?’  I’ve never driven, and he wants me to move his pickup truck (a newer one I might add) and begin loading?!  I’m having images of a truck wrapped around a tree out here.

This is my first time to move the truck!  But the truck has two peddles on the floor and you have to shift this thing on the side (I have been watching Daddy) as you push the pedals.  But how do I do it?  But, as an obedient boy following Daddy’s few instructions, I open the door and proceed to try to do it because failure isn’t an option and I have to figure this thing out.  I went forward a couple of times and finally backed up but not far enough; I caused jerks and spinned the wheels. But finally, after some toil, I moved Daddy’s truck without wrapping it around a tree, injuring it or myself.  I figured it out!

It has been at least 45 years since that scene occurred in the middle of the woods and until recently I’d wondered what was my daddy thinking?  Daddy knew well the concept of hard work and modeled it very well.  He knew that this now older boy needed to grasp on to some things that would prepare me for working outside of his reach.  So, that day in the middle of the woods he began moving me to another level.  From that day on, I would get better at understanding the clutch and brake, as well as the process of shifting the gears.  But more importantly, I would be able to move the truck (a little better than that day, of course).  And I would be more attentive to what he did while driving to make mental notes that would help me.  I would be able to figure out some things on my own.  I was being prepared for the real life of work.

“Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.”  Ephesians 4:28 ESV

Daddy was more concerned about me getting ready for the real world than he was about that truck.  That instruction that day was just another step toward realizing my place in a world where skill, ability and knowledge, with hard work, are absolute necessities.

That’s what my daddy was thinking!

God has a plan for all of us to work in His kingdom and He gives instruction or He allows things that teach us real lessons about real life?  It may be that God has us in a place that is preparation for ‘greater works.’  In fact, Jesus informs His disciples one day of ‘greater works’ that they and other disciples would do.

The middle of the woods that you’re in today may be the place where God is giving some instructions for you to move on in the work of the kingdom.  It is preparation for the ‘greater works’ that are yet to come in your future.  And, the future is bright with possibility because His plans are for you to blossom and produce where you are planted.

Get up and get started!  Back the truck up!  Work it out and stop crying and complaining!  Figure it out!  Try!  Do it by faith!  Your middle of the woods is only the prelude to the ‘greater works’ to which you are called.  That’s the Lord’s plan for you!

Today is a good day to reflect upon where you are, in the middle of the woods somewhere, to learn principles, values,  skills or attitudes that will help your performance, work and quality of life.

That’s what our Father is thinking!

“. . . being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6 NIV

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