Hello there! I'm Theo, administrative assistant to Clayton D. Harriger at his web site, Circuit Rider's Range. Sometimes he calls on me to introduce a subject and make some comments along the way -- this is such a time. As you have observed, the title is "Just Rusting Away -- "Digger's" Object Lesson About Life!"
You see, not so many miles from where CDH was born and raised you come to a small village called Callensburg PA in Clarion County (Northwestern Pennsylvania). As you proceed south from the village you come to a side road which turns left. On this road you eventually come to the place where "Digger" is sitting. Now that's the name that CDH gave to this thing which can easily be referred to as a monster shovel -- that means this thing is huge -- he's bigger than BIG! And the premises upon which he is sitting used to be farm land.
CDH has been intrigued with "Digger" for quite a while and during the 2003 session of Cherry Run Camp (where CDH is involved in managing the book store) which is located in the immediate area, he slipped down to get a few photos. Oh, you're really getting curious aren't you? Well there's a bit of method to his (CDH's, not Digger's!) madness -- just hang on and see that something significant can be learned from all this. But first there will be some more pictures of Digger, and some explanation. And then there will be an important lesson to remember from what happened to Digger.
Oh yes -- for the sake of equality and all that stuff -- if some are offended because Digger is "identified" as a male, then you can change the name to Diggerette and use the female gender in reference to this monster shovel which is bigger than BIG!
The picture below is a bit oversized -- but then Digger is a bit oversized -- you have to walk up real close to appreciate the fact that you are facing a real hulk of a machine!
You may have to move the bars at the edge of your screen to get the full view of digger in the above picture. A little history here -- it was either Digger or one of his kin folk which dug down pretty deep to get coal on CDH's father and mother-in-law's land a number of years ago. It was there that CDH saw this thing at work. Here are a few things that were learned about it:
- the boom is about 250 feet long
- the bucket at the end of that boom can scoop up 45 cubic yards of earth -- it is large enough to drive a full sized pick up truck into it and have plenty of space on both sides so that you don't worry about scraping off that fancy paint job!
- Digger and his kin are powered by electricity -- multiply an extension cord quite a few hundred times and you get an idea of the size of cable that feeds the machine -- as CDH recalls, the cable was probably about 8 inches or more in diameter -- a lot of that bulk is because of insulation. It was weird when Digger was working -- very quiet - a few squeaks here and there, but not the noise associated with the much smaller drag lines which were diesel powered. At one time they were all over the Callensburg and Sligo Pa area. You could be on top of one of the hills and look around the horizon and see as many as a half dozen draglines in operation -- and those were just the ones you could see from that vantage point!
- Of course Digger and his kind require a lot of maintenance -- especially lubrication with all those moving parts. Observe in the large photo the "catwalks," stairways, and platforms with safety railing in the huge pulley areas. The size of Digger can be grasped a little more as you see the stairway that goes to the highest point where there are pulleys and cables. Also, on the main boom you will see what seems to be a very out of line ladder, but keep in mind when the boom is raised into working position that the ladder will then be in a vertical position. Maintenance people at times would be moving all over those areas during operation.
Kind of scary under here -- Digger sits on a big round metal base when he's working -- and as you probably realize, there's more than a few hundred pounds of weight involved!
First, notice the stairway up the side -- down at the lower left at the end of that stairway is a door -- it is a normal sized door used by the operators and maintenance people. Modified a little bit, wouldn't that make a great summer vacation home along some river? Hey, you wouldn't have to worry about a flood carrying Digger downstream!!!
Second, notice the huge black disc with an arm extending from it - there is one on the opposite side also -- and notice below that on the ground is a long black object. That is Digger's "foot!" When Digger gets ready to move the disc begins to rotate and he is lifted up a few inches off the ground and is supported on his "feet." He is then shifted backward a few feet and put back down on the ground on his base -- the disc rotates again, lifts Digger up on his "feet" and moves him backward a few more feet. Uh, this is necessary in order to keep Digger from falling into that big deep hole he is digging! One thing sure, Digger would never qualify for the Indianapolis 500!
OK -- lesson time! With Digger in mind remember this:
- Digger was designed to do a specific kind of work.
- Digger did the work he was designed to do -- namely, he dug big holes in the ground and uncovered valuable coal. He literally moved an amount of earth which when piled in one place would make a small mountain!
- But something happened -- Digger now sits -- he does nothing and is just rusting away! Did you see the rust that is creeping all over him?
- And while Digger worked, there was life in his interior -- an operator at the controls directed Digger in all that he did -- as Digger responded to the operator at the controls, some big things happened -- a lot of people's lives were impacted because of what Digger did as he was guided by the operator!
- However, most tragic is the fact that Digger is now disconnected from his power source -- what he did was possible because he was hooked up to a mighty power source, but now all he does is sit, doing nothing while he rusts away!
Now then, are you ready for this? Will you learn from Digger? Here's how it is:
- God has a most wonderful plan and purpose for every conceived human being -- ponder slowly and seriously what is revealed in Psalm 139. It will take a little while, but the time invested will be very rewarding! It helps immensely if you picture yourself as the one who is speaking the words.
- Paul further refers to this plan in Ephesians 1 -- a mind staggering statement which mentions about being chosen in Christ before the world was created!
- The vast majority of the members of the human race is in an unregenerate state and is not the least bit interested in God's plan and purpose for human life -- rather, the majority choice is to concentrate on self centered goals which is best summarized by a Bible prediction of what to expect in the end times as events play out the last act on the stage of human history as we presently know it -- the focus will be on 3 deadly loves which will destructively consume the masses -- love of self, love of money, and love of pleasures more than love for God (2 Timothy 3:15).
- In spite of the many distractions of this world and the voices calling for us to listen and heed what is being offered by way of this world's "diet" it is possible to discover that plan which God has in mind for us...BUT discovery of God's plan can only take place through repentance of our sins and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of our lives. The "I am" statements of Jesus as revealed in the Gospel of John make clear the fact that there is no fulfillment in life and absolutely no hope for the future apart from Jesus Christ!
- Jesus also promised that the Holy Spirit would come to live in our lives as we seek to obey and follow Jesus -- He would teach us, guide us, and reveal the things of God to us. Note the specific references to this work of the Holy Spirit in chapters 14 through 16 in the Gospel of John. Notice Jesus' mention that we are like branches and He is the true Vine and that we will bear fruit -- that is, accomplish things for His honor and glory! Remember Digger with the operator inside at the controls? So the Holy Spirit seeks to guide and control us in fulfilling God's high and holy purpose for our lives during our journey here on earth. Who knows how many people's lives will be impacted as we learn to be sensitive to the holy Operator (the Holy Spirit) at work in our lives and His guiding touch each day that we live?
- The danger each professing Christian faces -- through the deceitful tactics of satanic and rebel human forces we may be tempted or distracted to conform to the way of the world -- maybe we get our "feelings" hurt within the church -- we just begin to drift -- slack off in church attendance -- our daily devotional times of prayer and Bible reading are reduced or become practically non-existent and we no longer really desire to serve Jesus with all our hearts -- so, in the process we become like Digger -- and we just sit and rust!
- It has been observed that the pressure upon young and old alike has never been greater because of exposure to the many avenues of the mass media in today's world -- and it is a pressure that attempts to convince us to adopt the world's view of life and how it is to be lived -- to compromise our professed faith and convictions regarding the holy standards God has revealed as to how we are to live and relate to one another -- the rust of compromise is covering more than one person claiming to be Christian in today's world!
- Romans 12 begins with a great challenge -- to whom will you present yourself -- to what will you be conformed -- is knowing the will of God really a top priority in your life? Or will you become a human version of Digger? Think about it!
- And if it should happen sometime that you are in the area of Callensburg PA, why not take that side road that turns left just after you go about a quarter of a mile south of the village and look for Digger -- stop and take a little time and walk up to where he is sitting -- and then remember that multitudes of people are like Digger -- disconnected from the Power Source (Almighty God), rusting away in life and doing nothing when it comes to fulfilling God's high and holy purpose for them! Then ask God to give you grace that you will not end up rusting away in life due to being misled into focusing on yourself and the things of this present world, thereby doing nothing that significantly counts for both time and eternity!
- Be honest now -- you really don't want to be embarrassed when you come to that moment when you give an accounting of your life to Almighty God, do you?
Check out this link -- it takes you into a site known as Children's Ministry Resource -- there are countless possibilities here -- look at the article at Object Lesson and then notice the other subject areas on the left side of your screen -- lots of help available in a very important ministry -- if we don't reach the children, what then?
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