Cutting the grass is a normal, everyday life kind of task. You get the lawn mower out and cut it. Depending on where you live and how big the yard is the task may take longer. But all in all it is a very normal task…
Until a tire goes flat and the blades need to be replaced and the engagement cable breaks…
Last week, I recounted the story about trying to fix my riding lawn mower and having to ask for help. Help is sometimes very hard to ask for, but yesterday I cut the grass for the first time in almost a month.
Saturday through Monday was spent buying the correct blades, buying the correct engagement cable and installing it, and reconnecting the deck to the riding lawn mower.
Monday night at 6pm I took the lawn mower out and did a test run to make sure the blade worked. And it did!
After several weeks of work I had finished. There were times that I had been so frustrated I literally almost cried. I even told my wife that I seriously don’t think I had ever been more frustrated.
But the overwhelming sense of accomplishment and pride I felt as the lawn mower glided over the grass (or weeds) that was over a foot tall was very rewarding.
This lawn mower saga taught me a lot: what an engagement cable was, how to take the deck off a lawn mower, perseverance, patience, the need for prayer, the need for a better lighting source when working underneath a lawn mower, the need to ask for help, and the joy of accomplishing something that was hard.
It is one thing to just accomplish something you have meant to do but just haven’t done yet (like taking the trash out, washing the car, or cleaning your office). It is another thing entirely to learn about something you don’t know anything about. To find the right tools. To ask for help. To have cuts on your hands from sharp objects in tight spaces. To drop tools. To sweat. To cutting the grass with a lawn mower you fixed (mostly, shout out to Kevin with disconnecting the deck).
I have to tell you again, it was frustrating to do this project. It was hard. But the feeling of having now done it cannot be put into words. The sense of accomplishment. Of pride. Of confidence.
All this came from me though. What a thought to be given those same feelings because of the reaction and affirmation from your boss, or spouse, or parents, or The Master.
I suspect this is a nuance of the passage when Jesus tells the Parable of the Bags of Gold in Matthew 25. The basic idea is that a man is going on a journey and leaves bags of gold with three of his servants while he travels. Two of them invest their bags and add to the original amount. The final one hides his bag in the ground because he is scared of the man.
When the master returns he rewards the two that invested the gold and punishes the one who does nothing with it.
In Matthew 25:21, 23, the master speaks to one of the servants who invested the gold, “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your masters happiness!’”
Life is hard. Being a Christian is hard. Fixing a lawn mower is hard. But hard things make us stronger. They forces us to persevere. Overcoming obstacles brings a tremendous sense of accomplishment and pride and confidence.
As a Christian, a follower of Jesus, life will sometimes be very hard. It is hard to be obedient. It is hard to have faith in difficult situations. It is hard to talk to people about Jesus.
But when you have persevered and kept the faith and loved Jesus with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and you are face-to-face with the Judge in Heaven, you will hear those same words: well done, good and faithful servant.
Anyway, I was just thinking…