Sawdust and Salt
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Sawdust and Salt

One of the most fascinating places I ever visited occurred on a hot summer day when my father took me to a large red wooden building that was full of ice.  Mounds of sawdust covered large blocks of ice that had been hewn from a local Pennsylvania lake during the winter months.  I could not understand how on such a hot day the entire pile did not turn to water.   I watched as they loaded a wagon to deliver it around the city for people’s iceboxes.  Only rich people had electric refrigerators then so you can tell how long ago this was.  My dad explained to me how the sawdust insulated the ice keeping it from melting. Years later I learned that salt had the opposite effect on ice.

That is all a distant memory but I still think about preserving things that are precious.  I long to preserve my relationship with my family.  I long to preserve my memories.  I long to preserve my health. I long to preserve my relationship with Jesus.  Each one of these requires attention.  Family members must not be ignored but be nurtured.  The same goes for memory and health and one’s spiritual life.  Neglect of any of these will see them melt away in the heat of life.  I wish it could be as simple as covering them with sawdust and keeping them away from salt.  (Interesting that in many cases salt is a preservative.  But in this case it is the opposite.)

Common sense living, paying attention to the needs of others, getting enough exercise, eating properly, eliminating stress and feeding one’s soul by feeding on God’s word. These are the sawdust that will enable us to keep what is precious to us.

Written by Roger Bothwell on September 7, 2011

Spring of Life Ministry, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574