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  • "A Musing Pastor"

Hey, I'm not as dumb as I look!

I'm old school. I'm considered an old soul. I'm hard-headed and sometimes downright stubborn. I'm a slow learner. My psychological assessment compartmented me as a person who is a concrete thinker. Once I get an idea in my head, I form opinions about the same and have difficulty changing my mind....

Ah, blessings and curses!

Aging has a way of softening the concrete in one's mind. Take for instance the mindset I carry with me. "There is no substitute for hardwork!" Phew, that mindset motivates me to be fastidious when doing any task. It can also lock me into patterns of toil and backbreaking work simply because I don't take time to see any "better" way to do a task.

My default reaction when faced with a job is to jump in, tackle it, and get-r-done! Meanwhile in another part of town a person faced with the same task will pause and assess possible solutions to complete the task. Most likely an easier more efficient way of doing the work is evident and more than likely will produce a better result.

Jonas began to stress the concrete in my brain. Jonas, you know, the storm that passed across the Mid Atlantic states last week. I'm of a mind that shoveling snow is good exercise and it is when you're 20 years old. Now moving past double nickels, I am finding snow shoveling to be more strenuous than I remember. During this past storm and while shoveling our extensive driveway, I relented to drag out the snowblower sitting in the garage. Ha. Ha. "Some of you are asking, Wait, you have a snowblower?!?!" For me, it's a pride issue. I want to do it my way and using a snowblower strikes at the very heart of who think I am. Fierce, rugged, independent, hard-working, and relentless all sound admirable.

Wow! The joy of moving large amounts of snow by simply pushing a machine back and forth! Who knew? Oh, most of you reading this knew? Okay, I did say something about being a slow learner. I never knew the joy of power and efficiency of snow removal like this before.

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you

not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." (Isaiah 43:18-19, NIV)

How often in my life, have I plowed ahead with my bulldozer approach and accomplished the work leaving people and other projects strewn in my wake? Painful as it is, I suppose there are many broken people and opportunities in my past.

I want to change. In fact, I'm thinking of replacing my mantra, "There is no substitute for hardwork!" with "work smarter not harder."

O God, break my hardened heart and reform my mind. Open my eyes to see the possibilities and allow me to be a blessing to others. If I forget your wisdom and provision, give me an aching back and sore shoulders as a reminder of my promise to you. Do a new thing in me today Father. To the praise of your glorious grace in Jesus I pray. Amen.

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