Friday, August 13, 2010
The Mouse and the Deere
The heat and humidity has been brutal here in Indiana for the better part of ... well, all summer! At the start of last weekend though, there was a bit of a break and so I refilled all the fuel cans, put diesel in the John Deere, fired him up and headed out to mow.
It had a been a few weeks since I had used Deere John and, frankly, I had put him away dirty after mowing hillsides. I was low on fuel and my biggest concern was not cleanliness but fuel-ishness -- I wanted to make sure I got back to the barn. So I decided to hose the various seeds and schtuff stuck in the grill so John could breathe well before heading to the lower field.
I thought I had detected some scurrying sounds in close to the tractor when I mounted up and when I stopped by the water hydrant, out of the engine compartment scampered a cute little field mouse. I watched him head through the grass to safety under the fence close by the hydrant.
He had evidently taken up residence next to John's engine. I opened the hood and there was a nice little mousie nest there -- but it was awfully close to the fan blade and various pulleys and belts.
I wondered why he built there? Maybe because it a tight little place and Ebony the cat, who likes little mice in a way much different than I do, can not get there. But poor mousie's house was not nearly as safe as he thought, as he found out when the diesel clattered to life.
For some reason the Jesus' story of the foolish man who built his house upon the sand came to mind. I thought about that man. Did the sand look safe? Far from the river ... perhaps some sandstone? Then the floods came and his house crashed down.
Of course, Jesus goes on to talk about the wise man who built upon the rock. How'd he know it was a good rock? How'd he know it wasn't sandstone that could crumble or slate that could split? The mouse thought Deere John was a rock. It had been there awhile. Wasn't moving. Was solid. Safe. Well, at lease to all rodent appearances. But he was wrong.
And I thought of times that I had built upon "rocks" that looked solid -- friendships, business plans, and the like -- which turned out to be. So I am a man (from a Bible story) or a mouse?
Mostly a mouse, I guess. But trying to learn to be a man of faith -- and to be able to tell the Rock from rocks.