Many years ago I can remember growing up and spending a lot of time on my grandparents’ dairy farms. In the course of those years I learned a great deal about farming and life in general. I have always been fascinated by farm equipment, which follows me to this very day. At the ripe old age of eight, my grandfather needed me on the farm to help with the summer hay season. It would be my job to drive the tractor (AC WD45) pulling an old New Holland bailer.
On the farm, children seem to grow up much faster than other kids. I had been driving the garden tractor for a couple of years and the big rigs for minor things already. But before we went to the fields, grandpa told me there was a lesson to be learned about respecting the equipment. So he took me out to the tool shed where the tractor was hooked up to the bailer. After starting the tractor and the PTO, grandpa took a burlap sack and proceeded to explain to me how dangerous farming could be. His objective was to help me understand that I had to be alert at all times for the obvious and the unexpected.
Grandpa took the burlap bag and draped it over the moving PTO to the bailer and told me to watch. After a few seconds of watching, something snagged the bag and yanked it out of his hands faster than you could possibly imagine. The “whapping” noise the bag made as it kept hitting the draw bar is something I will never forget and a lesson well learned.
As I have aged and gained more experience in life, I have noted how temptation and sin resemble that old PTO. As human beings we have a fascination with temptation and sin. We try to see how close we can get without being contaminated or tarnished by it. And the closer we get, the more dangerous the footing and before you know it, “Whap, whap, whap!” Someone has wisely said that “sin will take you farther than you are willing to go, cost you more than you are willing to pay, and keep you longer than you wanted to stay” (author unknown).
My friend, don’t fool around with temptation and sin. The Bible tells us that we are to flee from these very things and find refuge in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And in those times when we get too close and get pulled in, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9 NKJV).
Pastor Jim Howard, Senior Pastor
First Baptist Church of Cedar Springs
233 S. Main St, Cedar Springs