Well, in spite of what seems to be a never-ending winter here in the Tennessee Valley (as I write this, it is 32° in April), it has supposedly been Spring for almost a month, and time to break out the lawnmowers to begin the battle of lawn-dominance between the human race and the amalgamation of weeds allied against us. For most of us, mowing the lawn is a tedious, love-hate relationship. We hate taking the necessary time to mow the lawn, yet there is nothing quite like the feeling of looking across a freshly-manicured estate (even if that “sprawling” estate is less than an acre).
Recently, one of my neighbors shared something with me that struck a bit of a spiritual nerve. He was sharing with me about the history of his lawn. In the corner of his otherwise wide array of various weeds, trees, and other flora, there is a rather large area of beautiful, lush grass. He explained to me (I’m fairly new to my neighborhood) that the area that is so lush was once inhabited by large pine trees, and was actually quite desolate. Over the years and one by one, the trees died, fell, or were cut down, subsequently leaving him with several stumps he took great pains to have removed. What this left him with was a wide open, unshaded area, perfect for seeding. He threw out a bunch of grass seed, and watered it like crazy until the grass sprouted. What he ended up with was a beautiful area of lush, healthy grass… that looks absolutely NOTHING like the rest of his yard.
You see, he admittedly didn’t bother to do anything to the rest of his yard other than mow it. The rest of his yard is a collection of various and odd weeds and bare spots, with intermittent blades of grass mixed in. When I asked him about it, his reply was, “I’ll get to reseeding the rest of the yard one of these days.”
I look for God moments in the small things, and the lesson from my friend’s lawn was not wasted on me. You see, his lawn is a perfect example for how we live our lives, and the principle of sowing and reaping. Sure, as a preacher, I tend to use the example and laws of sowing and reaping as a representation of financial stewardship, but it is SO much more than that. Look at what Paul said to the Galatians…
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. ~ Galatians 6:7-8
That which we deem important and take the time to cultivate and develop in our lives is what will become evident. Just as my friend reaped a beautiful patch of grass on his property, so what we spend our time, energy, and resources on is what will become obvious to those around us. However, the mistake we all too often make is to focus on one area, while ignoring other areas of equal importance…
- Seeding the one area of our lawn while the weeds take over the rest.
- Parents… spending our time working to acquire “stuff” to make a nice life for our kids, while at the same time, failing to spend time with (and show love to) the ones we are trying to make the nice life for.
- Employers… singling out a new employee for praise and attention while taking for granted the faithful employees who have faithfully invested their lives into your business.
- Christians… becoming so busy for the “cause of Christ” (through evangelism, missions, outreach, ministry) that we completely miss the “Christ of the cause” (personal devotion and worship, meditating on His word, prayer).
Can I hear an “AMEN”? Or maybe just an “OUCH”?
It’s an easy trap to fall into, but living a balanced life (especially as a Christian) takes focus, diligence, and intent. Are you up for the task? Are you ready to make the entire “lawn of life” have meaning and purpose? Are you ready to live completely free and fully alive?
Then here’s a thought: Think about one person in your life who maybe you’ve ignored or taken for granted, and reach out to them today. Give them a call or send them a text, and just let them know you are thinking about them.
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