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  • "A Musing Pastor"

The power of a moment.


Have you ever considered how amazing our brains are? The storage capacity of this gray mass dwarfs the most powerful computer and operates at lightening speeds. Consider your reading of this blog. The movement of your hands to work the PC or mobile device require hand and eye coordination. Somewhere internally the eyes are viewing, sending images to the brain, the brain is translating, internal areas of the brain are lighting up, and neurons are firing in response to all these activities. Each dendrite is waiting to throw that spark and the synapse is awaiting to work in order for an impulse to make another series of movements possible. The intricacy of the brain still makes researchers scratch their heads. He. He. Sorry, I was going back to my biological psychology class with Dr. Cloud.

Well, anyway, yesterday I was walking across town and happened to be near a construction site where men were laying cement blocks and track-hoes were working. A skidsteer was leveling gravel and the busy activity was quite cathartic to me. The most impressionable thing was the smell of diesel smoke. As I walked down Brown Street, I was immediately whisked away to my days on the farm and to the years I spent out in the surface coal mining industry. I was physically in Lewistown, but mentally out in a field on a Ford 4000 diesel plowing or some other such task. I was physically on Brown street but was rolling 10 or 15 tons of dirt and rock in front of my D-10 dozer blade. The sounds of equipment and most importantly the smell of diesel smoke triggered memories stored deeply in my brain and carried me back in time. (Makes me think I need to have sounds and smells emitting in my ear when I forget certain things.)

You may be thinking, "So big deal, you smelled stuff and heard stuff. So what?"

Well, last night, I went to bed and had several of 'thee' most bizarre dreams. You know, the ones that make no sense and are scary and weird. I was out in the woods walking and saw a wolf. I had no weapon and was gripped with cold fear. The wolf ran away from me and the action in this dream had me yelling and trying to bark like a dog. I know this to be true, because Tracie asked me this morning, "What were you dreaming about?" You kept yelling something that sounded like "help". I laughed and said, "No, I was trying to bark like a dog but couldn't." Told you it was bizarre. OH, BUT WAIT, THERE IS MORE!!

In the next dream segment, I am injured and it is wintertime. I am near my childhood home and someone has placed me on the bumper of an R50 Euclid Rock Truck. I am cold and in danger of hypothermia, but there is heat coming off the diesel engine to keep me warm. Here is the kicker. People are pushing this behemoth truck! You and I know that dreams like these are best when you wake up and realize that none of the weirdness was real. PHEW!!!!

Aside from the bizarre events (and sounds) in these dreams, I am wondering out loud if the smell of diesel smoke in town yesterday didn't stir up past distant memories and events. Sure the dreams were fragmented and strange but somewhere in my gray matter things were lighting up and firing sparks across gaps... We are fearfully and wonderfully made and God has put us together in ways beyond our understanding. Go outside; take a deep breath and listen intently. See if you don't get whisked back in time to another chapter of life long forgotten.


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