I admit it. It was completely irrational. I have no-where to go but straight to, ‘I made a mountain out of a molehill’…

So I have been having this battle with our tractor. The front tyres take it in turns to deflate over a couple of days, meaning every time I want to use the stupid thing I have to get it up to the back of the shed, hook up the compressor and inflate the offending tyre… Whichever one of the two of them has decided it’s their turn to be painful. And the trouble isn’t the tyre in so much as it’s the actual rims that have had the Sammy Squirrel… You see, once I have got some air back in the tyre I then have to take a blocking hammer and belt the bead of the rim back into place. The fact that I have done it so many times means the rims have softened and thinned around the lip, and so just the tyre going flat is now enough to deform them.

Now, at this point in time, you have some fairly obvious questions. Not the least of which is, “Well, why haven’t you fixed the rotten things if you know they are capootskee…?” Good question! Truth is I bought two second-hand rims from a tractor place up in Lismore six months ago, and I just haven’t quite got around to wire-brushing and hitting them with a coat of paint before I get a couple of new tyres fitted to them.

“So it’s your fault!!”

If you cast your eyes north of where you are now you will see this Blog did start with, “I admit it. It was completely irrational”.

So my son Mat needed the tractor to push up a bonfire pile before setting a match to it (Had to be done before the first of this month because of the early introduction of fire restrictions). I began the ritual… Flat tyre, back of the shed, hook up the air compressor, pump up the tyre, beat the snot out of the rim with a hammer… All perfectly normal (In an abnormal kind of way). Drive down through the paddocks to Mat’s farm and just as I get to where the bonfire is – flat tyre!!

Now a rational bloke would have gone, ‘Oh darn. Look at that. Aren’t I silly? I’ll pop off home and bring the portable compressor down and we’ll pop some air in that pesky tyre!‘ I’d love to say that was my reaction… but to be truthful it was slightly different from that. Completely ignoring the flat tyre I pressed on. The steering was a bit odd as the tyre flopped about on the rim, but hey, I was in the process of ignoring reality and creating my own parallel universe where the grass is greener, mechanical things never break, and there are no imperial bolts when you are down the paddock with a set of metric spanners…!

So, the tyre drags itself off the rim. I run over it with the tractor and keep going. The rim jags its way into the ground to the point where it’s stuffed. Good work Briz! I certainly taught that tyre a lesson or two…!

So now I have to fix it. Just as well I have two spare wheel rims, ay…! Like I said, a sensible person would have just stopped and accepted reality. Me, not so much. I pressed on with a situation where the ending was already worse than it needed to be, but I wasn’t going to be denied the satisfaction of making that tyre pay… In the end, the only person who pays is me!

I think there are times when even as we are doing what we are doing, we know it isn’t going to help but we are determined to do it anyway. A conversation with one of our kids that we know isn’t going to help but we say it anyway ‘cause we think it will make us feel better. Or even though we know what we are about to say drives our partner crazy, we jump in and have a crack at them anyway because at that moment it’s all about us not them. Why do we do that stuff? Why, when we know it drives our wives crazy, do we continually leave our cruddy work clothes laying on the bathroom floor (That may be a bit too close to home. See it as ‘confession’ rather than a general exhortation?) And just to even up the score, what is it with wives thinking pointing out it’s the bloke’s fault that the tractor tyre wasn’t fixed is what us blokes want to hear in the middle of a crisis (albeit it a self-made crisis)!! What is that about?

There must be days when God just sits there, hand on his forehead, going ‘Really! I need to pull the cord out of the wall on this lot and re-boot the world’.

Could you imagine what the conversation would be like if God just spent His whole day pointing out our faults, instead of pointing out the way to be forgiven! Or if instead of patiently walking alongside us even when we are spitting the dummy, He said “Hang you lot. You’re on your own!” God is not like us. Doesn’t ignore reality, just shows us how to get through it. Doesn’t make bad situations worse, but with patience and grace shows us how to deal with the challenges of life.

I’ve still got to fix the tractor tyre, but at least I can confidently say Jesus has fixed my relationship with God. Already done and dusted!

Have a great week. And remember, we can’t control the things others say, only what we say…

Geoff Brisby