To complete the front feature of our log rock garden, I needed some landscape soil as the garden slopes to one end. The idea was to place paving blocks onto landscaping soil and try and get it as level as possible.
We took our large trailer and went to a place called Magic Growing. Although we passed a few gas stations on the way, I thought the tyre pressure would be fine because it looked fine, so I passed these stations (even though I did doubt my thinking). Once we arrived and selected what we required, the manager used a tape measure to determine the quantity the trailer could take … then two men loaded the trailer with shovels. I kept watching the tyres. The heavier the load, the flatter the tyres went. No problem, I took out my double action foot pump and started to pump up the one side tyre. As the pressure increased, the pump bent with a shaft breaking. Ouch … and the men said they did not have a pump. All I could do was drive at about 30 kph for about 3 km where we found a gas station.
I pumped up both tyres and we were good to go … but there was another challenge … getting up and over the mountain from the Annlin side towards the Moot. Fortunately, the traffic lights stopped me before the mountain. This gave me the opportunity, being in the front, to accelerate, and I took the mountain in third gear and half way up I needed to change down into second gear, managing to get to the top at 40 kph. Not bad for a 1400 cc Chev Bakkie with a heavy trailer loaded with 500 kg of sand mix. Once we arrived at home, Jenny played the role of traffic cop very well, guiding me as I reversed the rig to the log rock garden. I used about two thirds of the load and the rest I off loaded for use later on.
There are at least three lessons I leant form this experience:
First: Respond to first instincts. Check the tyres first. The last time we used the trailer was when I moved my books and shelves from the church in December last year. Naturally, the tyres would be lacking the required pressure.
Second: Check all equipment in the vehicle before a heavy weight trip. Don’t trust small double action tyre pumps when gas stations allow you to use their facility free of charge! It’s great that my pump broke then and not on a long journey as it did seem unstable to start with. We would be stranded.
Third: Have a little faith. In my mind, I was prepared to take a 15 km longer trip to avoid the mountain because I was afraid the weight of the rig might be too heavy for a 1400 cc bakkie. I had forgotten that I had this trailer custom built about 5 years ago for when we moved home. I really used this trailer, not only to move all our furniture but to move all the pot plants and many loads of bricks and paving bricks. Why would the bakkie fail me now? I lacked faith!
Praise the Lord we had no real dangerous issues … but I was not properly prepared for the trip we were about to take. There are other times when the people of God need to make certain they are fully prepared for the action the Lord requires they participate in.
2Ti 4:1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
The Holy Spirit-inspired apostle (Paul) says to his apprentice Timothy that God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ will judge those spiritually alive (the living) and the spiritually dead (the dead) … and the pastor’s task, in the light of what will happen (Jesus’ second coming), must be to preach the Word of God. Many called to preached are not always ready, eager and willing to preach God’s Word. This is scandalous! The message to Timothy is that he needs to be prepared “in season and out of season; [ready to] correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction”.
To be prepared means to be ready. I used to tell young preachers to always have a sermon that they have never preached in their Bibles in the event they get called upon to preach at a few moments notice. I recall that once when I was as an ordinand in training, our pastor was away on leave. The pastor had a high profile overseas guest preacher down to preach. This guest preacher did not arrive and did not answer his phone, so as I was to lead the service it fell to me to preach the message. And guess what … I did not have an un-preached message in my Bible … but I was prepared! I had a very good devotion that Sunday morning, sufficient for me to preach as a sermon.
1Pe 3:13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.” 15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
Now we move from the pastor to all Christians. Remember I recently spoke about having a testimony. Every Christian is to evangelize! There is no “if, but, I can’t, I’m not ready, I’m too shy, ask someone else” … God brings opportunities across your pathway regularly. You need to be ready. Peter also says … “always be prepared”. Are your prepared?
Dear God, the very least I can do is to be ready and willing for service whenever You call me to action. Thank You that You are willing to use even me to be Your spokesperson to share the greatest news ever! Amen.