Cutting The Grass…And Uncovering My Heart

The best part of mowing the lawn is the part when you’re packing away the implements used to do so.

Wouldn’t you agree?

Or are you one of those amazing individuals who finds a space for deep thought and meditation amidst the sounds of a buzzing engine and the smells of freshly cut grass (and the occasional whiff of a hidden cat ‘parcel’ beneath the now overgrown mass of green)?

While my four lovely ladies (No, I’m not a polygamist! That’s, one wife and three daughters!!!) went to watch a movie one late afternoon, I decided I would use the time to good effect, and take to the much needed task of thinning down the carpet of green that was quickly becoming a field. Thankfully, the garden’s not much bigger than a postage stamp, but then, there is the front and back. And once I’d spent time removing the grass from the flower beds, I’d spent quite a bit of time catching the few glimpses of sunshine that had managed to escape the blanket of cloud above.

Aaaahhh! The moment had arrived.
The sound of the wheels along the garden path as the mower was moved to its storage place; the heavy refuse bag filled with grass trimmings, pulling at the severely under-utilised muscle-fibre in my right bicep.
It was done…a refreshing cold drink awaited. Everything was put away, and I stepped inside.

And then it happened…can you believe it? That darned voice somewhere inside my head.
“Dave, you’re writing about the joys and benefits to be gained from serving others, aren’t you? Well, the neighbours front lawn is looking a little overgrown.”

I fought that voice, I’d have you know! I didn’t invite its comments.
“I’ve just put everything away. If you had given me the idea five minutes ago, I wouldn’t have hesitated. Really, I’d happily have done it then. I’ll tell you what: I’ll do it next time if it needs doing.”

I closed the door…
…And then I opened it again, took everything out and cut my neighbour’s front lawn.

Now why am I telling you this?
Do I want you to affirm me as a good neighbour, with a hearty ‘pat on the back’ comment at the end of this post?

No!

I guess I want to highlight that my desire to encourage you to live a life of serving others, sometimes at the most inappropriate times, is as much a journey for me as I suspect it will be for you.

Yesterday, I was confronted with my own hypocrisy as I fought from engaging in something I desire you, and others to engage in.
Then I battled against my own pride and feelings of self-importance when other neighbours in the street looked over, and I imagined them thinking to themselves, “What on earth is he doing mowing someone else’s garden. What a lovely man!”

So what am I saying?

I’m in this with you! And one of the things I am learning is not how ‘nice’ a man I am, but instead how difficult this is going to be. And the greatest difficulty is not outside of me.

It’s within me!

It’s a heart that is naturally selfish, and an ego that loves attention. These two close allies, my heart and my ego, must be defeated. And I’ve come to the conclusion that I cannot do it on my own. The fight is much more subtle, and far more powerful than I could ever manage, for its not a “wrestle against flesh and blood.”

And so I press into these words, “Be strong, Dave, be strong. You don’t have it in you…but be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. And then, rest in his loving, forgiving grace when you don’t.”

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