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  • "A Musing Pastor"

Paying Attention is a Spiritual Discipline!

I like to think my driving skills are above average. Did I just hear you laugh out loud??

No, really, my days on the farm taught me many tips and tricks while driving equipment. I can back a wagon load of hay up an inclined barn ramp. Out in the surface coal mining industry, I have driven 50 ton Euclid rock trucks that had little or no brakes.

Generally, I get into trouble while driving when I fail to think ahead. For instance, one frigid winter morning in the early 90s I drove a bulldozer across a snowy expanse of frozen ground. My route took me across a graded field. At the bottom of the grade was a pit that was approximately 100 feet deep. I was a million miles away as the machine bounced along. Okay, I was daydreaming! Then I was ripped back to reality as the dozer, which weighed a little over 100,000 pounds began sliding sideways...down the grade...on frozen ground. Gravity is a wonderful thing until it isn't. At the bottom of the grade and at the edge of the pit was a 2-3 foot ridge of dirt designed to keep people from driving into the pit.

Dozer tracks are designed with aggressive cleats for going forward and backward but sideways traction does not exist. Even less so, when ground is frozen rock hard. So, here I am sliding across frozen ground, my heart is now pounding in my throat and I am dropping the dozer blade and the ripper attachment trying to slow the slide.

A person's faith gets a litmus test in times like this. I probably uttered words as the dozer picked up speed, but I don't remember them. When the D-9 Cat slammed into the ridge of frozen dirt and I didn't plummet into the pit, then I offered God a broken thank you.

Our relationship with God needs our attention. Maintaining communication with our creator, walking in closeness with God, and paying attention to God revealing Himself through scripture can keep us from sliding into deep pits. Our faith grows when we strengthen our relationship with God. Paying attention to Jesus Christ will keep us making wise choices. How is your faith journey going? Could you use more time in the Bible, more prayer time, and meditation? Go ahead. Spend some time with God and don't get to day dreaming...

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