Amerey shot me a text Monday about WVU farm days this week. We wait for these with joyful anticipation every year. First, it was my young children, Now it is my grandchildren (and the teens we dragged along). It’s such a fun outing. And this year the weather cooperated, sunny and sixties which made it even better. No freezing in the open aired barns.
This wasn’t our original plan for Tuesday. Amerey, Ania and I planned to head to the Fiestaware outlet in Newell, WV. We planned to spend a minimal amount of money and have a maximum amount of fun. Then, last week in the midst of last minute details for my book release party and serving her younger-college-starving-brother dinner, Amerey’s water heater broke and leaked all over the garage. There went the shopping budget. Hmmm. Hot water or Fiestaware? I voted for Fiestaware, but, hot water won. So, in the spirit of Totally Broke Tuesdays, we chose farm day at WVU instead. Two dollars per person (unless you are two or under) fit the ‘only’ bill. Audrey met us there with her four. Ania, Rafal and Jerry came along for rich, satisfying outing.
My favorite event of the day (besides watching grandkids and their wide-eyed wonder)? Watching a chick hatch. I cheered when that little gal poked her head through the end of the shell. And I whooped out loud when she struggled half-way out. Then she rested. And started the struggle anew. Finally, after wrestling with that last bit of shell, she freed herself and fell over exhausted. Whew! What hard work! New life. Birth. A miracle.
It was kind of like watching a new convert. Like being born again. We say it is easy, but it isn’t. We must be honest about this new life. It is a struggle to break free of the old. The shell closes in on us and we must peck away with the Word that is able to save our souls.
Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].- Romans 12:2
This transformation is work. Hard work. The external circumstances are something we are comfortable with. We have adapted to them. To break free, to be changed, to have new ideals and attitudes is exhausting. We must rest, like the new chick, work and then rest, work and then rest. When that chick finally emerged, all wet and slimy, she wasn’t finished. Her work wasn’t complete. She rested before she moved on to the next stage- to fluff and dry.
Being born again is like that. We are born with the water of the Word, the power of the Gospel. We are wet, exhausted from the toil of leaving old ideas and suppositions behind. They creep up on us and we fall, exhausted under the weight of them. We must rest, renew our minds and move to the heat lamp of the Lord for the fluff and dry. Know what the chicks did to warm up? They gathered together. They moved in close. Wait. Don’t miss it! This is important. They gathered together under the heat lamp. We gals need to gather together under the heat of the Son for our fluff and dry. We need to connect, encourage one another with songs and hymns and spiritual songs! We need to share our ‘birth’ stories, the pains, the victories, the hopes for the future (not talking about child-birth). I’m talking about that tough road of rebirth.
Sunday evening, long time friend, Tammy Goff stopped by. We ended up talking until eleven (PM), way past this gal’s bedtime. But, we had no idea what time it was. We laughed til we cried. We cried til we laughed. We told our stories. We fluffed and dried. When my son finally gave us a heads up about the time, neither of us could believe it! She jumped up, “I have to work in the morning!” Our attitudes were refreshed. We encouraged one another. I felt lighter, fresher.
The pecking out of the shell we must do alone. No one can change your attitude. No one can force feed you the Word. You must eat (peck) away at it yourself. The transformation will happen alone. In private. We must do the work of carving out time to study the Word, to write it down, to pray it and remind God of His promises. Then we rest and wait on Him. Next we must bask in the Son lamp with the chicks and fluff our feathers by encouraging one another and telling our stories. We overcome him (satan) by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11). Got that chicks?
Step one-Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling- that is peck your own way out of the shell!
Step two- Gather together with in chicks under the Son for encouragement and tell your story- that is- fluff and dry!
Sharing my farm-day lesson with Kristin Hill Taylor by linking up with Three Word Wednesday!