I walked beside her as my six and a half year old baby girl, Ariyana, struggled with all her might to man-handle the green, self-propelled Lawn Boy mower. With each step she took, she tightened her grip on the mower’s speed bar, causing the mower to lead her faster and faster through the lawn. Unfortunately, the faster she went the lawn mower would deviate from the path she needed to be following. She would start to panic a little, and I would then reach over and gently put her back on course and remind her to loosen her grip.
In life we are the ones behind the mower. We’re going along and then we toss in school, work, marriage, family and more in the mix and gradually we squeeze the speed bar until we’re slowly going off course. Eventually we crash. But does it have to be like that? No. God is walking right beside us wanting to reach out His hand and gently put us back on course, but we have to be willing to accept His help.
For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.Isaiah 41:13
… back to the story …
When we arrived at a point where the mower needed to be turned, she would pause, lift the front of the mower up, and stumble to turn it around. She then proceeded to cut along the line of uncut grass. We continued this lawn cutting dance for a few minutes more before it was time to empty the bag of clippings. She shut the mower down and asked me to help her as she struggled to get the bag off. Without thinking much of it, I reached down, grabbed the bag, emptied it and re-attached it back to the mower. She was so elated that I could just “do it” and she couldn’t even get close without my help.
We are the bag of clippings. Through life we collect and harbor guilt, envy, addictions, pain, and more baggage than we would care to ever admit. How could anyone ever function with as much stuff as we drag around with us every day? Bring it before the feet of Jesus. After all, he paid the ultimate price to rid our lives of the grip of sin and is more than capable of helping us now. Let him effortlessly empty our “bag of clippings” and renew us.
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.John 3:16-17
… more of the story …
Ariyana was so excited to start back up that she begged me to let her try and crank it. She pulled, and pulled as hard as she could, but to no avail. She needed my help to crank it back up, and with one pull that’s just what I did and we continued cutting. It was a lot of fun cutting with her and I was amazed at how much she could do nearly by herself but how much she depended on me to complete the task.
We are Ariyana. The one task that was the most critical, was the one task she absolutely could not do on her own. She needed me to start the mower before anything else could happen. Every, waking moment of every, waking day we need our Lord and Savior to start our heart, soul, and mind the correct way. A lot of people feel they must be perfect before bringing their problems to Him. In reality, He is begging us to come as we are and only He can transform us. All we need do is accept his invitation.
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.John 3:18
… the rest of the story …
A bit later, it was my boy’s turn. Maddox, my four year old son, is tall for his age but still only knee-high to a grasshopper. It was all he could do to keep his feet on the ground around every turn. That mower was unforgiving. It did not care if Maddox squeezed a little or a lot on the speed bar, it only cared to drag him around the lawn. Let’s just say, I didn’t have to do much “correcting” mainly because I did most of the steering and Maddox was just along for the ride. It was a blast cutting with him.
We are all like Maddox. Life is an unforgiving battle around every corner and can quite literally drag us around. We have all fallen short of the glory of God. But when we put all of our faith and trust in Christ, we too can have a blast hanging on while God takes the control and does the steering. He will keep your path true. Forever, unchanging.
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.Psalm 23