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Easier to preach, than obey

December 15, 2008

by Rev. Lyndon Korhonen, Good Shepherd Free Lutheran Church, Cokato

On one of my days off this fall, I planned to pour concrete. We were moving a garage and needed to get a slab poured to set it on.

The weather was turning cold, the forms were all up, the mesh was down, and all things were prepared. We had helpers lined up to pour at 10 a.m., and I had brought food for them.

My friend called the concrete company to place the order, and they asked if the ground was frozen. Yes, the ground was frozen about two inches down.

They didn’t recommend pouring concrete on frozen ground. Oh, that was not good news to me!

Winter was coming and that garage was sitting on the truck, and I wanted to get it off the truck and onto the slab so we could start using the garage and the truck.

Well, I thought I should get a second opinion! I called my friend, Joe Kelly, for some concrete advice.

“Joe, we are set to pour a concrete slab, but we have about two inches of frost. Can we pour?”

“Pastor,” Joe answered, “don’t pour concrete on frozen ground.”

“But, Joe, it is my day off, we have all the help lined up, and it is getting late in the year!”

“Pastor, don’t pour concrete on frozen ground. Put some hay or straw over the ground and it will thaw out from below. You will still have a day to pour yet this fall.”

Oh, that is not what I wanted to hear, but we reluctantly got a big bale of straw and spread it out over the area to prepare for another day.

So, what do you want to do right now? What are you having a hard time waiting for?

Are you willing to ask someone who knows more about the subject than you do? And then the million dollar question: After you have asked for advice, are you willing to change to obey it?

I didn’t have any trouble asking for advice. My battle came in whether I would make use of it or not. It is a lot easier to preach the right thing to do, than to actually do it.

We could have poured that concrete, and it would have looked fine for awhile, but we may have had many years to regret that choice as we worked on a cracked or flaking slab.

Consider the words of our God in Psalm 119:34-35: “Give me understanding and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the paths of your commands, for there I will find delight.”

May God help each of us to not only ask for advice, but also to obey it!