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The Man In The Tractor


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The Man In The Tractor


It was a simple tractor ride through the streets of my new hometown Townsend Montana.

A young man named Noland quietly climbs high into a giant tractor and I’m scrambling up right behind him.

He’s only 16 and yet comfortable in this giant machine and as we drive and talk I find he’s also comfortable in his own skin. (for a 16 year old)


The world around is filled with loudmouths looking for attention.

They pretend to fight against climate change and equity, but all the while I think all they want is to be heard, to feel important, to believe they truly matter.

So they pick a cause and hang onto it so tightly they lose sight of the damage they cause because really, all that matters is that they are heard.


Now I’m back in the Tractor with Noland who doesn’t have to be heard because he is heard.

His foundation is strong, his roots imbedded deeply in this place he calls home, he has no reason to find a cause he understands who he is and the cause changes but centers around taking care of what’s around him.


As we drive along in the big red tractor, he has no trouble answering my questions. His politeness tells me this is a young man who understands respect.

He’s not afraid to tell you what he doesn’t know and sure of himself when he speaks of the things he’s still learning.


How far we have come from the world of Noland.

Our culture is filled with people striving to be someone, to stand out, to have value and do little to get there. Teen suicide rates soar and our kids seem miserably lost. And then there is Noland and kids like him.


It threw me when I asked Noland something and his response was “I like to work hard.” Wow, there’s something our culture could certainly discover from a guy like Noland. Hard work, heck, we can’t even get people to go to work anymore they are so used to the government coming to the rescue.


A theme in my life right now seems to be taking God at His word.

It’s hard for me, let downs seem to outnumber the moments when people do what they say they will do.

I’m not used to people living up to their word.

Your word doesn’t seem to matter to the culture we live in these days.

And then you have Noland.


As I sit here typing my thoughts on my computer I can’t help but wonder if there was a third man riding in that tractor the other day.

A man showing me, through this boy, the innocence with which I need to come to my father everyday.

Noland, is like all of us I’m guessing, he has his questions.

But he seems confident in knowing the generations before him and those he lives with today, will cover him.

They re his foundation.

Maybe God’s like that too.


Maybe it’s time to rest in the idea that God will do as He says he will do.

My job is to simply to drive the tractor.

I guess we’ll see.


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Fairly late in life (for a pastor's daughter, anyhow) I came to the conclusion (in a conversation with my heavenly Father) that God never fails, God never changes, and I can trust Him. And, as He told me, "that is all I need to know."

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God is faithful my friend. He does what He says He will do. - M.


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