No Short Cut to Grace

I see everyone is posting about the cold and snow affecting their lives. I’ve seen a lot of beautiful photographs and read wonderful stories about it. I reminisce about the snow and wish I could have a little of here in Mississippi for maybe a day or two. Wait, stop right there. I not being truthful. I lived in Indiana and North Dakota for several years and quite frankly I really don’t miss the snow. I will just enjoy the photos if you don’t mind. Your photos do bring up a few memories of living in the north that I chuckle at now. I’d like to share one with you if you don’t mind. As we say in the South, “Set your pretty little self down and take a listen.” Bless your heart!

  Driving Through The Essence

Driving Through
The EssenceA light snow had fallen and melted the week before my brother and I went hunting with my best friend, Mo, around Salamonie Reservoir in Indiana. We took his new, but used, 4-wheel drive Chevy Blazer with gigantic mud tires knowing that we could go anywhere we wanted. Driving down a gravel road we noticed a peaceful grouping of deep woods across an open field. Mo decided there was a short cut across a pasture and took off. No sooner had we started when our nostrils filled with that favorite country aroma that make so many ask, “What is that smell?” Whoever farmed this land had just finished spreading the field with fertilizer. Now, not that kind you buy in the store, mind you, rather that kind that comes out of the south end of a north bound cow. Some folks call it the Essence of Manure.

 It's getting deeper and a lot more smelly

It’s getting deeper and
a lot more smelly            We were about half way across when Mo started to fight with the rear end of the vehicle. For some reason the Essence combined with the mud from the melted snow rains was exceptionally slick. The steering wheel moved quickly from left to right and back as he fought to keep the Blazer straight. The fight was short-lived and we found ourselves stuck. Forthwith, we looked at each other in confounded trepidation–the four-wheel drive was not turned on. This may date me, but at that time turning on the four-wheel drive was accomplished from the outside by turning the hub on each wheel. While stopped we found the small amount of wind given by driving with the widows down had blocked most of the nosegay of bitter pungencies. Because we were so dumb as to not lock the hubs we received the blessings of unsavory suffocation.

Climbing out of the Blazer we noticed an old beat up farm truck swerving up the hill toward us. The farmer was waving and shouting some unintelligible words, so we waved back. He stopped, pulled a rifle from the widow rack and cocked the chamber. He stomped in front of the vehicle and said, “You’re trespassing on my land and I am gonna put a bullet right through your motor.” All three of us assured him that we thought we were on public land and apologized for being there.

He continued to shout and blame when Mo interrupted, “Uh, sir, your truck is rolling backwards down the hill.”The farmer ran waving the gun shouting, “I’ll be right back!”

 “In my anguish I cried to the LORD,

and He answered by setting me free.

 (Psalm 118:5)

Full revelation of why the scriptures tell us to pray without ceasing helped us decide exactly what to do; we locked the hubs and took off! The farmer chased his truck screaming obscenities while our deliverance arrived simultaneously.

 “The Lord knows how to rescue

godly men from trials.”

(2 Peter 2:9)

            I’m sure the saints above held their hands to their bellies and rolled in laughter as they watched three crazed idiots spin through Essence like the devil was on their tail. The scripture says to,

 “Do what is good and run from evil—

that you may live!”

 (Amos 5:14a)

            There are times when we see the peace and calm of someone else’s walk with God. We desire that same walk. The allure of the short cut across the pasture of life is so tempting, but given individual gifts our path to peace may be different. Take only the path directed by the Holy Spirit and get out of your own way. If things begin to smell a little, and the Essence begins to suffocate, hit your knees in prayer. We cannot take short cuts with God for it is only through His Son that grace arrives. Our walk is progressive and He will guide you in the path you should take. (Proverbs 3:6)

           On Top of the Mountain!

On Top of the Mountain!


53 thoughts on “No Short Cut to Grace

  1. Dear Friend, this is a WONDERFUL post. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I thank you for sharing it! Andy, your last paragraph spoke volumes to me. I love when God uses the words of others to speak and minister. Thank you, again! You are a blessing.

  2. Great post, Andy. The last paragraph was awesome. I enjoyed reading all of it and laughing at the humorous parts. Thankfully the Lord is good and saves us when we call upon His name. Blessings, Natalie 🙂

  3. Great to read this post Andy, thank you for your wonderful encouragement and for the great story and humour too!
    No snow here but we have been inundated with terrible storms and floods. Only just beginning to dry out. Very unseasonably mild, no ‘proper’ winter as yet but knowing our crazy weather here in the UK lately we will probably get snow in the spring 🙂

    • Wow! You have had some bad weather there. Here in MS we have had about a week of 10 degree weather and a lot if rain but that’s all. I’m glad. Have a great week Sherri! Thanks for the comments.

  4. Wow, what a day that was! I thought that we were all going to meet our maker! I am thankful that God is in charge and that His plan involved “hope and a future.” I like the way Eugene Peterson paraphrased Jeremiah 29:11: “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” God is awesome!

    • Good morning Mo! So good to hear from you dear friend. It has been too long! That surely was a day for sure! Thank you for visiting my blog. I pray you and Nancy are doing well! God Bless you both. Write sometimes when you have time! Love you Brother!

  5. Wow, I needed this encouragement today! God is leading me to places I feel ill-equipped to handle, yet I know he won’t leave me “high-centered” (as it were). Your post is a reminder of how much we need him! Thanks!

    • Thank you for your comment. Most of us feel inadequate when God calls. Just look at the people of the Bible. When God calls He will prepare the way, He will prepare you. You only need to answer His call 🙂 thank you so much for commenting. God has blessed me through you!

  6. What a great post!! I loved your story. I enjoyed the much needed smile as well as the inspiration. Thank you! God bless!

  7. This is great! Took me so VERY long to learn in my own life… God’s not nearly so concerned with the Destination, as that we enjoy the Road Trip together… and if that’s so… what’s the good of a “short cut”? 🙂 Grace to thee! LM

  8. Entertaining, encouraging and true: three ingredients of a successful blog post! Thank you for stopping by Connecting Dots to God so that I could fine you. Judy

  9. Great post! What truth you share when you say we can’t take short cuts with God. I know, I’ve tried! But He has always been so gracious and allowed me to begin again. Blessings.

  10. Thank you for visiting and liking one of my posts, Andy. If you had not done so, I would have never found this post, which was a reminder I needed today.

    Have a blessed week,

    • Thank you Dulcinea for the nice compliment. I appreciate your following me here and will look forward to your comments. I only post about once every week to ten days. So look for me and I will be looking forward your blog post as well. God Bless!

  11. “I’m sure the saints above held their hands to their bellies and rolled in laughter as they watched three crazed idiots…” This post gave ME a belly laugh! ;oP

  12. I laughed, I cried and I mused that God has His own way of reaching us. Thanks for following my blog. I’m not sure you realize how God has used you today.

  13. Andy, please let me tell you how much I appreciate the things that you write. As I was reading your thoughts I realized a serious of life that many appear to take for granted. You took me back to my family, and to those who have gone to be with our Lord Jesus. I usually have many things to say, but, somehow, I have become speechless. Please know that God is with you. I am following your blog. If you are not already doing so, please consider following mine.
    In Christ Jesus
    Pastor/Equipping The Saints

      • Many of my sermons have related to the things about which you write. They are heart warming, and need to be cherished, and they need to be shared with many other people. I am very sorry that our younger generation has missed out on so many of the simpler things of life. Can we not agree that everybody loved “Otis Campbell,” in the Mayberry series. Many of my sermons were also based on Mayberry. Please keep up the good work, for God’s people.

  14. yes, my father’s 1969 Ford Bronco had the same wheel-locking. It was such a pain – and easy to forget when you are bouncing across the sand raising away from the rising tide….which happened often! I enjoyed your post. I love how God give us eyes to see His lessons, in the most unusual of ways. I truly believe He speaks to us in the language “we” understand – and that it is individualized to each of us! Amen to that and I will heed your/His warning to stay away from the short cut which leads to “essence.” LOL. Great post! Thanks also for stopping by my blog today! You might enjoy one of my older posts, “My Father’s Wild Things.” too. Look for it on my main blog setyourpathsstraight. Blessings!

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