We were getting ready to take off. With the wind beneath our wings, it was a magnificent flight. The view was spectacular and weather conditions favorable for such a time as this. It was smooth sailing, until it came to the landing.

Eventually, what goes up must come down and when it does, it can be a bit bumpy. Once grounded, there is just enough thrust to keep you moving forward.

Once stopped, passengers make their way off the plane to yet another mode of transportation. For the sake of common ground, let’s just say it’s by way of car. Yes, a car might be the ride of choice after one exits the tarmac.

More oft than not, the highways and byways are well paved on which they travel and we merely follow that which has been previously mapped out. Although the view becomes less lofty in scope, at least there is still movement and onward they go.

Need I mention not all roads upon which cars travel are paved? As a country girl I can assure you I know this well. In order to get to the house we call home, turning off the tar and onto gravel is not always a smooth ride.

I suppose it’s no different on our spiritual journey. It just isn’t all smooth sailing, and no doubt will hit a few bumps in the road so to speak.

Yes, sooner or later we all end up on a gravel road here and there in life. The refining proof of rougher terrain traveled might be a scrape or two along the way. These serve as reminders that the rocks upon the gravel need be traveled with caution, tenderly, more carefully if you will.

What would happen if those rocks upon the gravel were not there? What would surface?

Finer sand you say? Smoother sailing those roads would be if the rocks were not there — correct?

Think again because if rocks were not there, how would one gain traction? In fact, quite the opposite could occur which would find one’s tires going nowhere fast. Spinning diligently, the tires would be making nothing but ruts!

After a bit of spinning, one might eventually notice a different soil at the base of the rut. No longer is the brown sand visible. The trenches spun down have now hit pay dirt — rich black soil is now visible. Yes, there is rich black soil just beneath the sand, just beneath the rocks, just off the pavement, just off the tarmac, just off the plane.

So what’s driving all of this? Well, it’s not the wind beneath my wings, it’s not the man made tarmac; neither is it the smoothness upon the highway. No, it is not the rocks upon the gravel giving traction, nor is it the sand just beneath creating ruts, but something different is beginning to surface.

Thing is, to get to that deep rich soil, many a layer must be removed. Jesus tells us in His Word why this soil is important. In it He plants His seed and when it lands on rich soil, it takes root (Matt.13:8-10).

As He readies His fields for harvest, may we allow Him to till deeply … uprooting that which He needs in order to not stay in a rut, but bear much fruit. It’s His fruit, for His glory and not our own.

May we be made worthy of the promises of Christ. It is for this I pray. Amen.

Kathleen Kjolhaug lives on the family homestead outside of Clearbrook with her husband Pete. She enjoys writing about family life and brings humor into the sacred moments of everyday living.

Theology in the Trenches appears in several local newspapers throughout Minnesota. Kathleen can be reached by e-mail at wemenews@gvtel.com

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