My grandmother used to tell me that the tractor man slowing us down on the way to our destination might be an angel. These boot-clad heavenly folks flung manure and mud, but to Nan, they also may have kept us from tragic ends or aligned God’s providential timing for our arrival at the Foodland. All these years later, it’s still nearly a daily occurrence to be delayed by one of those diesel-driving angels, or my husband.
Tractors are like the steel-link between masculine youth and maturity. Not so long ago, both of my little boys would be content for hours with their mini farm machinery, making lines of shag carpet crop for plastic cows. Now, Wade enjoys the solace of that roaring motor after a busy day at the office. Maybe it’s the therapeutic vibrations, or the gratification of beautification, or just mowing something over. Maybe it’s because cell phones can ring, but everyone understands not answering when you’re driving a tractor. Maybe it’s the sunshine, the great outdoors, and observance of God’s command to subdue the earth (Gen 1:28). Or maybe it’s the pace, an antiquated top acceleration of about 20mph (downhill) in this instant-speed world.
As Wade powerfully puttered down the road in a new-to-him tractor, I drove behind him with my vehicle’s flashing lights for safety. My boys rolled down their windows and commented on the neighbor’s buzzing bee boxes, a hawk hunting a field mouse, and how our caution was perhaps unnecessary. We didn’t pass a single car on the slow ride home, but at least we practiced proper tractor etiquette.
My boys don’t play with tiny tractors anymore, but I catch them, still and studying their father. They will approach the barn with intrigue at the mystery of the machine and man before them. With good oil, grease, and any luck, the tractor might outlive us all. It’s a glimpse into a hopeful future—but I need time to slow down to process it all, maybe to the Speed of Tractors.
Is time really moving so quickly? Or did we just trade our creaky porch swings for rollercoasters? Are we so busy and distracted that we can’t actually soak in the small moments? These thoughts have me adding one more thing to my to-do list. You read that correctly. Busy me is adding one more thing, but this is different. I’m taking time that is typically wasted on the snooze button, or scrolling social media, or maybe even from something deemed good like cleaning the house or reading a book, and I’m focusing on the most important thing: Jesus.
I know He can do much with our little. I know He is a God who multiplies our pitiful efforts, and for now, I’m starting with 1% extra. 1% of 24 hours is barely less than 15 minutes. Maybe you’re already doing all the things for Jesus, like a Morning Offering, writing in a prayer journal, studying Sacred Scripture, all the devotions, books, and prayer groups, but what if we just sat with the Lord for 15 minutes every morning? I’m sure it would not be time wasted.
Those tractor-driving angels might have me arriving where I was always supposed to be, after all. With Jesus.