I realized as I was absent-mindedly mowing the backyard yesterday, that over the few years that we have lived in our home that I have already developed a set pattern that I tend to follow when I mow the lawns. That thought popped into my mind because I suddenly became aware that at that moment I was in the process of deviating from that pattern! After starting up the mower, putting it in gear and flipping on the duel blades, I drove off with my mind on my wife who was sitting comfortably in the shade on the deck.
She had gotten a little too warm and “a bit” dusty while sitting on the front porch yesterday as I mowed the front and I wanted to make sure that she wouldn’t get too hot and dirty today. My head finally switched back to what I was doing when I noticed that I was turning behind the play structure in the yard. At first, I was a little confused because I shouldn’t have been in that location that early in the backyard mowing process. But it really wasn’t a big deal so I simply finished up the row I was mowing, hit the gas and zoomed over to the correct lane… no harm, no foul, right?
Piper’s adventure yesterday was actually kind of funny... at least to me! Since we had the water line replaced a month or so ago, there still remains a strip of grass-less dirt where they dug the trench for the new flexible line. I’ve had to temporarily change the usual pattern I follow when mowing in front as I don’t want the riding mower disturbing the new grass that is SLOWLY and SPOTILY coming in.
But low and behold, I didn’t think fast enough on my first lane that I was mowing and ran right over one of the larger spots of dirt… which also just happens to be closest to the house, and you guessed it… closest to the front porch where my trusting wife was sitting. Well… needless-to-say, following my pass, Piper was sporting a nice layer of fine dirt all over her hair, her neck and what used to be a brightly colored red, white and blue blanket that was now an ugly shade of light yuk! On the positive side though, the CNA from hospice had not yet arrived and she was able to give Piper a good bath when she arrived an hour or so later!
With over ¾ of an acre of property that is mostly covered in grass, I learned rather quickly to find and then follow the most expedient and efficient patterns of mowing with the riding mower. I remember the first time I mowed the lawn with the brand-new mower back in November of 2015. I couldn’t help thinking that all my neighbors were probably standing at their front windows with binoculars watching and laughing at me as I tried to figure it all out!
I’ve been mowing lawns as a side business almost continuously since I was in Junior High… but I had never used a riding mower before. I KNEW all about them as I sold plenty of them in the three years I worked in the Garden Department at The Home Depot. I’d seen all the training videos, read the manuals, put parts of them together for the show room floor, drove them in and out of the garden department to the front of the store for product placement and even unloaded countless models off the trucks when I managed the receiving department… But I had NEVER actually used one to mow a lawn!
So that sunny day in 2015 must have been quite humorous to observe as I fiddled with all the different levers and pedals and continually stalled it due to all the fail-safe automatic safety shutoffs that engage when the right order of gears, levers and pedals aren’t correct! Now… three years later and many hours in the driver’s seat have given me the ability to run the machine… most times… without having to think too much as the operation of the mower is pretty much rote to me!
And you know? The same could be said for the operation of our Christian beliefs in our daily lives. After the shepherds went back to their flocks following their middle of the night visit to Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus at the stable on that cold night in Bethlehem a few thousand years ago, the Bible tells us that Mary took some time to think about everything that had happened and was shared that night. Luke 2:19 tells us that “Mary treasured all these things in her heart and always thought about them.” (God’s Word ©)
As I continued to revisit this portion of the scriptures over the last few days, I came to realize that Mary chose to keep all these things close to her heart. It says that she “treasured” or according to the King James Version she “kept” and “pondered” all these things in her heart. Strong’s explains that this action means to combine your speech, your thoughts and your actions all together in considering or consulting, disputing or conferring with one’s self concerning everything that happened.
To “always” think about them suggests that Mary kept the events close together in her, or that she “conserved them from ruin.” (Strong’s) Mary knew that what was said and done was important enough for her to understand and stand on, so she made an obvious point to bring its understanding beyond the limitations of her head knowledge and become a part of her HEART knowledge.
Piper and I have learned with this attack on her health over the last ten years that when push-comes-to-shove in the midst of very difficult and emotionally gut-wrenching times… that following your head knowledge will falsely lead you to consider the need or situation through your intellect and NOT your spirit… where the truth of God’s Word that you’ve hidden away in your heart resides.
And just like me in the operation of our riding mower… after three years of usage and practice… where I can jump on the machine and mow like a pro…well, most times… After many years of pumping the Word into us and then practicing and living the Word throughout our lives, when the bad news came, we didn’t panic but immediately went where our HEART knowledge led us… right to the truth of God’s Word!
I think that is one reason that I got thrown for a spin when a few others didn’t react with their hearts but with their heads when we begin to follow God’s directives for us. Their line of thinking was TOTALLY out of sync from Piper’s and mine! It was kind of like when I suddenly realized that I wasn’t thinking about the mowing when I first started out on the tractor yesterday and was concentrating on Piper’s needs. I had to stop and think in order to get back to what was going on at the moment.
Likewise, it took me awhile to understand where they were coming from before I could hopefully communicate with them in a more understanding manner. Eventually though, I came to the point that I realized that I couldn’t allow Piper and I to get stuck where they were. We had/have a fight to finish and our HEART knowledge of God and His Word was/is the only way to successfully finish the battle!
Mary was able to go through all the pain and suffering she must have felt at Jesus’ crucifixion because of her HEART knowledge of what was really happening before her eyes. And that firm stand on her HEART knowledge was rewarded when He arose from the dead three days later and was manifested before her and the other disciples!
So, where do your Christian beliefs abide? In your HEAD or in your HEART? It takes a lot of personal effort to get them into your HEART… but the rewards FAR exceed the effort! Have a great rest of the week, and as you do, keep asking yourself… “What and Whose knowledge am I expecting to put into my HEART today?”