The Lawn Keeps Expanding
Every spring, my sisters and I dreaded when Dad pulled out the lawn mower and did the first mow of the season. We lived in the middle of a wooded acreage and Dad would do the first mow to set the boundaries of the lawn for the year.
Up near the house, there was “normal” grass that looked like most other lawns. The grass was very fine and would tear if we used a riding lawn mower, so that portion had to be cut with a push mower. Outside that area was scrub lawn that was cut with the riding mower. The bad part was each year Dad expanded how much had to be mowed. As he created the increasing larger lawn, we would hear that poor mower grinding as he hit small samplings and roots that couldn’t survive his aggressive trimming. We also knew that more of our summer would be filled with lawn duty. The expanding yard exposed more downed trees that would be used to heat our house the next winter which meant the chainsaw and log splitter. Dad would also plow about an acre of land to be our summer garden. That garden needed constant weeding and harvesting. We did a lot of canning and freezing of vegetables. We didn’t lack for summer work!
We grew up in a time before computers. Most of our friends would either be at the swimming pool or watching TV during summer break. Since we lived in the country, we couldn’t get into the swimming pool often and TV was off limits during the day. Often Dad would drop by unannounced at different times, walk into the house and feel the TV. (Back in those days, the picture tube generated a lot heat.) If the TV was warm, we didn’t have enough chores. We learned quickly not to turn on the TV during the day.
Although we complained about it, we learned some valuable lessons growing up about not wasting time. Proverbs 10:4-5 adequately sums up how we were trained throughout our childhood, “He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a wise son; He who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame.” All the work during the summer provided a way to heat our home in the brutal north Iowa winters. We also had a cold cellar full of stored food from the garden that would usually last until the next harvest.
In a time where it is easy to sit in front of a computer or other electronic device searching social media, reading email, shopping, or watching news and videos, we can waste a lot of time on things that don’t produce tangible or lasting results. Not that any of those activities are wrong, but it can eat up time, distort our priorities and rob us of things we could be doing to advance God’s kingdom, develop healthy relationships, study the Word, or aid others in need. I personally have been challenged in this area lately. I don’t feel that my time is always being used wisely. I realize there is time to rest and refresh, but that can be used as an excuse when rest is not the real issue – I’m just being lazy.
Do you struggle with this? If so, join me in asking God to expose areas to refocus time and energy in a way that pleases Him and then act. God promises to reward the diligent.