We were cutting hay all over the county.
I would get on a tractor and drive 10, 20, 30+ miles to a field full of hay and one swather. (a swather is used for cutting hay and putting it in a nice row for bailers to make hay bails.) (swathers, for the sake of the rest of the story, do not travel so well.)
After hours of cutting hay, we would need the swather in another field. I would attach it to the back of the tractor and drive down the road, sometimes a highway or through a town. I had a ball! (redneck)
But here is the deal with pulling a swather behind your tractor: The swather sticks out far to the right behind a tractor. I never hit a sign, but I did hit the occasional mile marker and took out my fair share of fence posts. (sorry dad)
When you drive a tractor, you are looking down the middle of your berth.
When you pull a swather, you are looking down about 1/3 of your berth.
Thus, when you drive a tractor, you have to think about the tractor. When you drive a tractor and swather, you have to think about much more than just yourself. (see where I’m going here)
My dad, the master tractor driver, taught me the essentials of pulling a swather. You are responsible for a lot of ground. Keep an eye on what is in front of you AND what is behind you. Make extra space or you will hurt the equipment you are pulling.
Here is the truth about life on this planet: We are all pulling a swather. Maybe it is your children, or your neighbors, your friends, your enemies, or people that just need a tow.
Sometimes you and I still drive like we only need to think about one person. Please allow me to give you some advice from a great tractor driver:
You are responsible for a lot of ground.
Keep an eye on what is in front of you AND what is behind you.
Make extra space or you will hurt the equipment you are pulling.
Remember, leaders, there are people following you. Every action you take will either get you both closer to your goal, or will have you spending time mending fences on the side of the road. (I can tell you from experience which one is more fun.)
Jesus, let my actions help those in my wake. Let me remember that I have much more to think about than me. And thank You for that. Amen.