Lessons from a Lawnmower

October 2022 | Written by Jan Bailey

     After the last rain, our grass grew very quickly, and when it became ankle high, I decided it was time to mow the lawn.  I put gas in our red lawnmower, and attached the grass catcher.  I was ready to face the challenge before me.  “Hi-Yo, Red,” and all that kemo sabe stuff.  (Just call me the “Lawn Ranger!”  Yes, I’m dating myself with these Lone Ranger nuances!)  I pushed the throttle to the start position, and gave several good yanks to the cord.  Nothing happened.  I tried again.  No response.  Apparently, Ol’ Red didn’t share my enthusiasm about this project.  Undaunted, I waited a few more minutes and tried again.  There was still no response.

     Our mower, by the way, is several years old.  As my husband, Kerry, and I thought back over the years, neither of us could remember if Ol’ Red had ever had an in shop tune-up.  Kerry tinkered with the mower occasionally, but that was about the extent of it. 

     We decided to take the mower in for a “real” tune-up and waited.  While it was in the shop, the Lord brought to mind some spiritual maintenance matters concerning my walk with Him.  I had to admit to my heavenly Father that, at times, I hadn’t maintained my relationship with Him very well.  (Of course, this was no newsflash to Him.)  I admitted my response to His pulls was lethargic; my obedience was slow.  Sometimes, I didn’t respond at all.  I told Him that oftentimes I prayed to just get through certain situations rather than praying for a teachable heart while He walked me through those stressful times.  I admitted a lack of commitment when it came to unhurried time in prayer and His Word.  I acknowledged complacency when sparks should have been ignited.

    Spiritually, I needed a tune-up as much as Ol’ Red just to make sure I was usable in God’s scheme of things.  Without periodic maintenance checks, we believers can develop trouble engaging, and God’s plans wait because we are not in proper working condition.  The Lord may have to find someone else to do His work, and we miss out on the blessing He intended for us.  God has some kind of “grass roots ministry” for each of us; but if we don’t have spiritual tune-ups now and then we may not be in working order and we’ll lose the cutting edge.

     Lord, thanks for the lesson of the lawnmower.  Cause me to be more mindful of the need for spiritual maintenance.  Thanks that Ol’ Red is back from the shop and ready for the job it was designed to do.  Hi-Yo, Red!