Lessons from a Lawnmower

A few days ago, I was out mowing my lawn and inspiration struck… or maybe it was delirium from the heat. At any rate, it was early autumn and I was looking at all the bare places and weeds in my lawn. Now here’s the thing. We moved into this house in February, and it had a beautiful lawn. The man that lived here before me took great care of his lawn and landscaping. As I lamented the present condition of my lawn, the parallels with my spiritual life came rushing into my mind. First of all, the lawn didn’t deteriorate overnight; it was a gradual process. The worst part: I knew how to avoid it. You see, a number of years ago I worked for the largest lawn care company in America.

Here is what happened (more or less in chronological order): first of all in spring you should apply weed killer and fertilize your lawn – I did neither; secondly, in the summer, you must make sure to water your lawn in times of drought stress – again, I neglected to perform this task; finally in the fall, you aerate your lawn and sow grass seed to replace any grass you lost throughout the year – here, I completed the failure triple crown. Do you see the parallels?

The Bible tells us to guard our hearts, just like that weed killer guards our lawns. The word also tells us to fertilize our lives. Philippians 4:8 says,

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

In those hot, arid times of drought and dryness, Psalm 42 gives us the solution:

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?”

There’s the answer for dryness – time with the Lord. In fact, in John 4, Jesus tells a Samaritan woman who is standing drawing water from a well,

“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

You see, the dryness in my lawn caused some of the grass to die, which left bare spots. The real kicker is this: they didn’t stay bare, weeds filled in the openings. Aren’t our lives that way? In fact, Jesus said that even if you were gloriously delivered from an evil spirit, that spirit would come back to see if his old house was empty; and if he found it empty; he would bring seven of his friends to move in with him. The parable of the sower describes weeds as “the cares of this life” and says that they will choke out the good things in our lives. Finally, in the fall, aeration is the process of de-compacting the soil.

How about your life? Could it use a little de-compacting? Sometimes the “still small voice” of God is hard to hear in the blaring horns and screeching tires of the traffic of our lives. The final thing we should do is re-seed the lawn. You see, in spite of our best efforts, life has a way of eroding some of our growth; so we must constantly allow God to refill and replenish our lives. Romans 12:2 instructs us, Do not be shaped by this world; instead be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you; you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect.”

Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall, there is a process for healthy lawns and healthy lives… and it is a lifelong process. Through every season, hold fast to this promise from Philippians 1:6: “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

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