I grew up in Nevada. My Mom’s folks lived about an hour away (as fast as my Mom drove anyway). My grandfather was a prospector for the last career in his life. He spent his time looking for gold and other precious metals in the Nevada desert.
My Mom, brother and I would visit them about three Saturdays out of the month, more during the summer. After we got the hello’s out of the way Daddy Joe would ask if I’d like to go for a ride. Now, going for a ride with Daddy Joe was not exactly what he had in mind. I mean, you went for a ride to get there but the rest was pretty much work. When I was around 9 it was not that big a deal. He had some shovels and we’d go push some sand or dried clay around, play on the tractor sometime, which was lots of fun.
By the time I hit ten or eleven I was pretty good with a shovel and was able to hold up my end of the stick so to speak. We got to go for longer rides. We got the hand auger out and dug some wells in the Carson Sink. He bought me gloves and my own shovel, size “0”. If you check your shovels out at home they are probably a size “2”. The business end of a “0” is about three inches narrower and an inch shorter. Just about perfect. I could shovel longer and not tire out as quickly.
Now, this “going for a ride” started to become some pretty serious work. I remember catching on to the deal and checking the back of the pickup before we went out to gauge how hard the day was going to be. Pretty soon, I’d check before we went in the house. If it looked too hard then I would start to feel sickly and dread the day.
Sometimes, I would opt out of the ride and stay with my Mom and Grandmother. That was a different experience as well. We would wind up in a fabric store while they looked at patterns. My brother and I getting into trouble was not fun at all. –a tip: a fabric store is not a great place for a older boys.- I figured out that it really was more interesting going with Daddy Joe even if it meant working.
After a while I wasn’t all that interested in looking in the back of the truck. I just got ready to go whenever he asked if I wanted to go for a ride. I even remember the disappointment the few times he didn’t have something to do or some other issue prevented us from going.
Looking back on it I can see several things I learned. He always had enough water, pretty good lunches, and great snacks (Oreo’s and Vanilla Fingers). The process taught me a lot about work, perspective on life and generally prepared me for the next events in my life.
So, if Daddy Joe can take care of me like that, provide for my needs, teach me something, and help me to grow, can you imagine what God The Father will do for me if all I need do is say “let’s go” the next time He asks me If I want to go for a ride?
I have a choice to make as we all do in these situations. I can stay home and go check out the fabric store (which I’ll tell you, is even less fun than it used to be) or I can say “let’s go”. When I say “let’s go”, I try not to look in the back of the truck because I know I’ll see stuff that will scare me. Simply hop in and get ready to work when the ride stops.
I know that as we work there will be plenty of food and water to take care of my needs and I’m going to learn something, and be prepared for the next trip on my journey with Christ.