I had a “Lawn Specialist” come by this week. This is the first time I had this particular kind of service. He left a long list of results of his analysis. This all came from a computer printout he had in his truck. He first thanked me for talking with him. He told me what he did and what to expect as the result. The next section is what he observed as a result of his analysis. He noticed bare and very thin areas of grass. He saw that I had a common winter disease called Snow Mold which had been very active in my lawn. He also observed that there were mower tire tracks and turf damage was beginning to occur.
Following his analysis he gave me the following recommendations. I couldn’t believe it! Growing a healthy lawn is more complicated than I thought. I’ve been doing this for almost 50 years and a 20 year specialist is telling what he recommends. I’m being a little sarcastic, but his suggestions were good.
Here’s what he wrote. “I recommend reseeding the thin area to improve your lawn and crowd out the weeds. You need to rake the affected areas where there has been Snow Mold. That will also help with the fertilizer and pre-emergent application I have made today. Your lawn would also benefit by alternating your mowing direction weekly.” So I’m off to a healthy and more beautiful lawn – if I follow Jeremy’s directions.
I got to thinking about how this might work in our spiritual lives. What if we could have some kind of “Spiritual Life Analysis?” The analysis of my lawn suggested “reseeding and crowding out the weeds.” How do we reseed our spiritual lives? The obvious ways would be a disciplined time of Bible Study, prayer, and regular worship. Maybe some seeding ideas might also include a regular time that we spent in contact with other Christians: being a mentor or mentoring/discipling others in their faith. This could result in greater spiritual accountability. Another might be sowing the seed (of God’s love and forgiveness) that He has given us to sow. Who is on your list to develop a relationship with to reach with the God’s love?
What about crowding out the weeds? Do Christians have weeds in their lives? This one may be a little touchy. How is you lifestyle? Does it reflect that Jesus is in the center? Are you a person of integrity and honesty in your dealings with others? What about your language? I touched on this in my message on Easter Sunday. The Bible says: “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” What comes out of our mouth or in our actions is usually the result of what’s in our minds and hearts.
Jeremy also said I should rake up the affected areas. What might that mean in our spiritual lives? These issues may not be as obvious in our lives as they are in my lawn. It might be bitterness, a grudge, or a resentment we have had for another person for a long time. It might be withholding forgiveness from someone who has hurt us. It may be an attitude about our worth which may result in blaming God for not making us a more talented or gifted person. That could result in being jealous of others who we feel are far better off than we are. Raking can be hard work. It means going beneath the surface, getting rid of the dead and useless stuff, so healthy new life can begin.
Finally, Jeremy mentioned tire tracks – the result of cutting the grass the same way every time. I believe the spiritual application might be to try new things. Can we get into a spiritual rut? Sure we can! It can happen in just about every area of our walk with Jesus. The attitude we might have is this is the way we have always done it, don’t rock the boat, don’t rattle my cage, I don’t want to try anything new.
Jesus was a risk taker. That’s why He came into our world and identified with us. That’s why He died on the cross in our place. He related to outcasts. He went against the religious establishment. His message was far from the traditional. The challenge for us is to do the same. Don’t be afraid to try new things in your walk with Jesus in the church community and in your ministry field outside the church doors.
I learned a lot from Jeremy about my lawn. I’m trusting the Holy Spirit, my Spiritual Life analyzer, to apply those principles to my spiritual life. How about you?