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  • "A Musing Pastor"

It's not all gravy...

I like gravy. No, not the boiled fat, water, corn starch, and boullion. The stuff that comes to me with ease. The stuff I don't have to work for. (I do like the stuff we slather over potatoes and other food items though.)

In my former vocation out in the surface coal mining industry, we always celebrated those seams of coal that were covered with about 30-40 feet of dirt, shale, and easily removed overburden. One could take a bulldozer in, uncover the coal fairly quickly, and get the product out into the market with low-cost.

Then there were the seams of coal under that first one. Those secondary seams were often covered with sandrock and layers of hard rock. Those lower seams of coal could only be uncovered by boring holes in the ground, filling the holes with explosives and busting the rock layers. Aside from drilling, exploding, and removing the rock, consider the depth of those lower seams of coal. I can remember having a pit floor that would be surrounded by highwalls of 100 feet in height or more. In my 12 years out in the surface coal mines, I can't ever remember there being a lot of easy jobs. Hard work and determination came with the territory. (I tip my hat and bow before all those miners who work underground.)

In today's scripture reading, I mulled these passages and saw easy stuff and difficult stuff.

"My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom

and applying your heart to understanding,... (Proverbs 2:1-2, NIV))

The first few verses describe a passive gathering of knowledge and wisdom. It is stuff that comes to us easily. We don't have to exert much in the way of time or resources. It's gravy! We are sponges and absorb the glory of God that is evident all around us. The second half of this passage is a bit more involved. It requires some sweat equity on our part.

....and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and

search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the

knowledge of God." (Proverbs 2:3-5, NIV)

The last three passage here require us to be actively seeking, digging, gathering information about God. It is this secondary work that requires more time and resource expenditure. The results of this labor never leave us empty or wandering. In fact, just the opposite is true. After applying our heart and mind toward discovering understanding and wisdom of God, we are offered victory.

How are you doing today? No. really, how are you?

Is your life filled with victories or defeats? Could it be your present status is measured in direct correlation with how you are dealing with gravy and hard rock? Are you passively soaking in God's presence and mercy? Are you willing to do the difficult work of digging, searching, and finding God's deep riches that can only be gained through your diligence....through your seeking?

In either case, you are saved by the Lord Jesus Christ and God's grace so therefore, one must engage God's word on a daily basis. One needs to do (in the words of my New Testament Professor Doug Buckwalter) the spade work of uncovering those nuggets of gold found in scripture. Go ahead; sweat a little on this frigid winter day. Grab the shovel and get busy.

And pass the gravy please.

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