Thursday, November 7, 2013

Life Lessons From The Mower

If you have ever heard me preach or have heard me speak for any length of time, you know that there is one thing that I have always wanted - a zero-turn mower. Well, we serve a faithful God and I now have one. It does a nice job with our large lawn in a relatively short amount of time.

One thing that takes some getting used to is the sensitive steering of a zero turn - hence the name. If one quickly returned a wave to someone driving by, one may find oneself in a 90 degree turn where one never intended on turning. However, with just a few hours of use, one could be a pro.

With such sensitive steering, and, if one has a fondness for lawn stripes like I do, one has to pay particular attention while cutting the first swath. I, typically, fix my eyes on an immovable object beyond my yard and drive toward it without taking my eyes off of it. If I can accomplish that, then the swath and, subsequently, the stripe, will be straight.

Once the first swath is cut, the rest are far easier as long as one keeps the outside front tire on the edge of the previous swath. However, if one gets distracted and begins to drift off course, then that swath will not be straight and the lawn stripes, in their entirety, will be off. Worse yet, everyone who drives by will see it.

It is a lot like our faith walk. Consider this...

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 
(Hebrews 12:1, 2 NLT)

When we keep our eyes on Jesus, the swath of our lives will be straighter, maybe not perfect because we still hold some control over the direction we take, but straighter none the less. 

I sometimes get discouraged when I get distracted and the stripes in the lawn are not as even or as straight as I could have made them. However, it helps me when I remember that the grass will grow and I will have another shot at it.

You may be tempted to look back at the lawn of your life and see the skips, the un-intended turns, the crooked stripes and the vividly obvious mistakes that all can see; however, just as the sun and rain causes the grass to grow, God can forgive, transform and turn around all of these with his love. We can grow through it and, often, he gives us another chance at it.

Even better, the ones who can see the lawn of our lives, you know, that great cloud of witnesses, they are rooting for us and they will cheer when God finishes with us and the beautiful work that he has done in us and through us will be seen by all.

Mow forward!