Staying on the dirt road would have been safer (although I would have still be in disobedience) because the road is packed, and traveled by trucks, combines, tractors, etc… so that over time, it is hardened and although the rain creates a little mud on top, and mud puddles, there isn’t a huge danger of being stuck in the mud. The field is NOT a path at all. The ground is meant to be worked each season and a harvest planted in the fertile, rich, loose soil so that the plants can grow. The rain very much causes that ground – right next to the road – to be drenched with the water so that it soaks down deep in preparation of the seeds that will be planted and will need water to grow and produce a harvest. Those two places – the dirt road and the field are the SAME DIRT – there is nothing different about the dirt itself. The difference lies in the purpose and function of each. I guess you could say that if you don’t choose to be on a PATH, you are still choosing something… No choice is still a decision. Probably not the best one, definitely not a purposeful one. Today, I choose to choose my path. Not to wander in the field. For my great-grandfather – Englebert Mader… his path was very much in the middle of the field – he was making his path with a horse and a hand-plow. I’m pretty sure that he also had a set jaw – angry, determined that this ‘talk of religion’ was something that he neither wanted nor appreciated in his wife, Mary. I think my moment of surrender in the mud might have been a little like his own – both actions, him falling to the ground, and me surrendering my boots – both moments were our unique acts of surrender, a turning point, a lesson learned deeply. His act changing the course of lives for generations to come. My act being a result of his act in some way – setting me on a path for my life and it’s roads and fields. I’m so very grateful for what great-grandpa Mader decided that day. I am so very grateful for my Dad and what he did for me that day – a moment in time to be remembered and recounted about 35 years later and to bear so much more meaning than it did at the time. I can’t wait to meet great-grandpa and talk about it all. Then, I’m going to talk to great-grandma and give her a big hug for putting up with and praying without ceasing for Englebert – and will tell her all I have to tell – giving the honor and glory to my Father in Heaven.
So, there it is – a small snipit – glimpses of our past – carried forward to our present – giving us confident expectation of good – no… great – things to come for our future generations.
Kerry (Mader) Sikes
December 27, 2011