Thursday, November 12, 2009

See The Goodness of the Lord -- Day 22

It was to be a glorious day working in the woods. I had the day off so got up early, fired up the John Deere and headed to the lower woods to do battle with the evil bush honeysuckle. Bush honeysuckle is an invasive species that is pretty to look at -- at first. Glistening green leaves and bright red berries. But, left untended, it quickly takes over, choking out the understory of the forest -- the grasses, wildflowers, saplings, etc. I have chopped, chainsawed, and done all sorts of things to get rid of it, but one of the most effective is using the dump bucket on the front of the 790 to push it over and out. The shallow roots give way pretty easily (with tractor power pushing at them) and it's an overall satisfying feeling to look at clear sections of woods which I know will spring to life with new trees and wildflowers come spring.

That was my plan. Which I saw fall to pieces, literally, when Deere John blew a hydraulic hose. A hose that controlled the bucket and rendered my plan inoperable. It was the bush honeysuckle that did it. It's shallow rooted, but tough if if the plant is old and when I pushed over one, part of the stump came up and ripped the hose right out of the snap coupler, shredding the hose in the process.

So it was back to the barn to take the old hose off and go buy a new one. Turned out I had to disconnect all of them at one point to be able to free the broken one. And, being the farming equipment genius that I am, I had a bit of trouble getting the last fitting to release. When I finally got it loose, after much effort and a few well place curse words, I ended up seeing red. That's because the line was still pressurized. Doh! So I ended up covered in red hydraulic fluid. A mess.

After I got the broken hose off and cleaned myself up a bit, it was off to the tractor supply store in Plainfield They didn't have the right hose, but they do have great black licorice, so I picked up a bag of that. That took 45 minutes. Then it was off to Indy Tractor in Mooresville, where I first bought the tractor anyhow. They didn't have the right hose either and had to order it. So an hour and half later I finally made it back home. Where I spent an hour cleaning up all the hydraulic fluid, refilling the fluid reservoir on the tractor, and cleaning John Deere.

By then it was 12:30 and I had only spent an hour doing what I'd planned to do. And, since everybody close was out of the hose I needed, was done for the day. Seeing my plans fall apart put me in a grumbly mood.

But then I decided I go do something sort of productive -- like trim my beard, which was looking shaggy, trim my nails (which had grease under them), take a nice long shower, and use my laptop to catch up on some email.

I usually use the computer up in my office, which is zippity-fast, but it was in the process of uploading massive files to MozyHome, so I planted myself in an easy chair in the living room. I put "The Innocence Mission" on the CD player, propped my feet up, and fired up the computer. I answered some emails that had been nagging at me for neglecting them, watched the squirrels scamper up the trees, saw a red-headed woodpecker pecking away, and witnessed a great autumn day through the two-plus storey bank of windows.

And, because I was indoors and on-line instead of out in the woods, I was able to respond immediately when a dear friend emailed and said that she had lost an important person in her life. And I was able to accept a dinner invitation from an old high school buddy who found himself in Indianapolis with some unexpected free time.

So I saw my wrecked day, actually turn out quite well. And it all had to do with my letting go of all my self-imposed plans and just let the day unfold as it would. I thought about Jesus words in Matthew 6 -- "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life..." It just goes against my nature not to worry. Especially when my plans get messed up. But yesterday, for whatever reason, I was able to let go and not fuss. To not worry about my life. And in so doing I was blessed -- and saw the goodness of the Lord.

-- Brent

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