Engaged (Lesson 2 From the Farm)

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They say farm and ranch life is one of the highest occupational hazards. I believe it. The machinery is heavy and powerful; the livestock are big and strong with psychopathic tendencies.

A few days ago I engaged the power-take-off (PTO) drive train on our John Deere tractor to start the big bush-hog mower hooked to it. The whole tractor shook, then as I mowed through a thicket of Sand Plums the roar and devastation of vegetation was intense. 

I thought about that simple act of “engaging” the attached equipment. Without engaging, the tractor ride would be smooth. There wouldn’t be dust, limbs and debris being thrown around violently. 

It would even be much safer. It would be nice and quiet.

But it would be nothing more than a joy ride on a tractor. Nothing would get done.

Seeing our children and grandchildren get married through the years also came with engagements. I’d never thought of a relational engagement like a PTO shaft on a tractor, but the engagement really put things into motion. Like equipment put into motion through a tractor’s PTO, a marriage engagement can get crazy, dusty and scary. It can be unsafe. But it’s the start of a new life.

A soldier must be willing to engage the enemy. Those who won’t engage don’t stay in the service. 


Think about it

Are you serving your ministry as one wholly engaged? Are you locked in, participating in the training, and showing up faithfully? 

Or are you just enjoying the ride, not wanting it to get too inconvenient, dusty, dangerous, loud or intense? Are you willing to do or say something you may be corrected for?

Pastors see it all the time; a church filled with folks, most of whom never contribute any effort to the momentum. Most are not really engaged.

If you want a joy ride, that’s easy; just give it some gas and choose a well-beaten path. 

If you want to find all God has for you, engage whole heartedly.

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…”[i]

“Therefore, PREPARING YOUR MINDS FOR ACTION, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”[ii]


[i] Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NIV)

[ii] 1 Peter 1:13 (ESV – emphasis mine)


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