2-5-2017 Be Careful with the Familiar


February 5, 2017


Have you ever broken a bone before? I broke my right arm as a teenager falling off the hay wagon while baling hay. As I recall it was the second cutting of the year and we were rushing because the rain was starting to move in. It was toward evening, and we had already put over a thousand bails in the hay loft when it happened.


I was working the wagon putting the bales onto the elevator that ran up to the top of the barn. I can remember the wagon was a little damp and the bails were a little heavier than usual from a brief morning rain. My habit was to set the hay hook high into the nearest bail on the wagon with my right hand, place my left hand on the butt of the bail and in one motion lift and twist placing the bail firmly onto the elevator. I had done it for years and the effort was repeated no less than several tens-of-thousands of times. But this one-time was going to be different my mind had begun to wander.


As I hooked the bale, and started to twist, to my surprise the bale was far heavier and more awkward than the others. It wasn’t that the bale was too heavy… it simply caught me off guard. I wasn’t ready for it. As I twisted the combination of the extra weight and the dampness on the surface of the wagon braking traction with the treads of my shoes and over, I went. I remember hitting the ground with my right elbow and my forearm at 900 to the surface. It was followed then by the full weight of the bale crushing straight down on it.


I have the clearest recollection of the sound of bone snapping to this day. Needless to say, my summer was over. In our spiritual lives we can get into repetitive habits too. So much so that the action becomes second nature to us and we lose the significance of the action. To that end we all have to be cautious that we don’t “do” just because we’ve always “done it that way”.


Last week we commemorated the Lord’s Supper. Some churches observe the Supper every week. Several years ago, the Lord placed the conviction on my heart that as a church we needed to be careful the observance never became habit. In response to that conviction, we dropped back to once a quarter. It is far more important that each time we do celebrate it we celebrate it as if were fresh and new to us.


The same thing can be said for any aspect of our worship or Christian walk as a whole. It’s far too easy to walk the familiar path, let our minds wonder and miss what God is trying to say to us. He may be trying to lead us, teach us, strengthen us, use us or maybe even warn us.


Lamentations 3:22-23 (NASB)
22 The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.


Are we staying alert enough though to recognize and appreciate them?


Thank You for your faithfulness! Pastor Larry