Our friends, Dan and Ellen, were living in this beautiful farmhouse that became a little less beautiful one day. They’d been doing some heavy outdoor work and they were using a big old dump truck. Ellen was a city girl. She lived on a farm for so many years that there isn’t much that she couldn’t do though – including driving a dump truck! She’d learned to be a good farm girl. This particular night they had just started it up when she had to run in the house for something, maybe a phone call. (You getting ahead of me now?) She left it running for just a minute. I guess it was more minutes inside than she had anticipated. You know how phone calls can be. Something happened as the air pressure built up in the truck’s air brakes and they somehow released! Yeah, that big old dump truck started rolling until something stopped it…Dan and Ellen’s dining room and kitchen stopped it! That truck ploughed right through their dining room wall. The brakes on their vehicle failed and the result? Major damage to their home!
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “The High Price of Brake Failure.”
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Proverbs 27:23-24. Here’s what it says, “Be sure you know the condition of your flocks. Give careful attention to your herds for riches do not endure forever and a crown is not secure for all generations.” Well, that’s good advice for farmers. Oh, no. Not just for farmers. It’s especially for those who are growing a home, or a marriage, or children. Developing a marriage is a lot like farming. Parenting is emotional and spiritual farming. Raising the most precious crop of all, children who are, as my wife often said, messengers to a time we will not see. Your family is your flock, the one you’re supposed to know the condition of and give careful attention to.
A lot of families are damaged today because of brake failure in a man or woman’s vehicle. I mean your job, your career, your business. That’s the vehicle for earning money and maybe even for making a difference in other people’s lives. But the problem comes when your work gets out of control and you don’t have your work anymore, your work has you! It’s easy to become so preoccupied with your work you don’t know the condition of your flock and you don’t give careful attention to it. The long hours, they drain you. All you have left for your mate or your kids is your leftovers.
The vehicle might be crashing right into your home! Or maybe the runaway vehicle is work you’re doing for the Lord. Who could fault you for serving the Lord for so many hours with admirable dedication, right? Maybe your wife, or your husband, or your son or your daughter could. Maybe even the Lord you’re working so hard for. Your family is your first and foremost ministry, and the ministry to them may be suffering because of all you’re doing at church or some ministry – wonderful vehicles for serving Christ – but if your vehicle is damaging your home, it’s gone too far.
Whether it’s your job, your ministry, some project you’re preoccupied with, maybe God’s trying to tell you to put on the brakes, even if that means making less money or sacrificing some prestige, or some pursuit of personal significance. Even if it means people will not understand you, you cannot neglect your most important relationships any longer.
Neglect will ruin a garden, it will ruin a car, it will ruin your figure. You don’t have to do anything to wreck them, just do nothing. And neglect may be doing slow but ultimately expensive damage to your family. Why? Because of the same thing that damaged our friend’s home, a vehicle out of control because of brake failure. Your brake failure.
Is it time to get with God and get some new priorities? Only you can apply the brakes. Please, don’t wait for the crash.