Lessons from a Lawn Mower

Spring is in the air, the grass is greening and growing, so “gentlemen, start your mowers.”

I vowed at the end of the season last year, I would break down and get a new one before I had to start this year. So I did my usual due diligence by researching, reading reviews, etc. and made a decision. Because my house here in Tennessee is built on a steep hill, I have to get a self-propelled mower—as was my old model—meaning you hold down a lever, a belt engages the wheels, and off you go.

This Saturday with the new mower, I began on the side of the house with the steep slope, placed the mower at the bottom, and pressed down the speed control lever to the “rabbit setting.” The mower literally climbed the hill in seconds with me just holding on, with no effort on my part. I let off and it gently rolled back down.

In that moment, I realized that all of last year, even though I was pressing the self-propelled lever on the old model every time out of habit, I was pushing it up that hill. My old “self-propelled” mower had truly become “self” propelled—my power, not the mower’s. I was pushing it; it wasn’t pulling me. No wonder I was tired after half the yard.

I was going through the motions of pressing the lever, but all the work was on me. It looked right and the action was right, but it really wasn’t working at all.

And being pulled by something with its own momentum is way easier than pushing something with none of its own.

You can’t know how truly powerless something is until you experience real, new power-full.

Today, are you pushing something in your life that has no power of its own? Are you pressing the same levers you always have, doing all the right things, but it’s all on you?

Religion is like my old lawn mower. It looks the same, has the levers, but there’s no power and it’s all on the one pushing it. “Self” propelled.

A relationship with Jesus is like my new mower. Press the lever (obey) and hang on because it is truly Self-propelled. It pulls you and you follow along to keep up.

I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength! All this energy issues from Christ: God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. —Ephesians 1:17-21 MSG

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