Growth Requires Prep w/ Lawns & Lives

In 2019, my wife and I sold our house that we had lived in since 2001 and one of the ways to get people to look inside was curb appeal. I cleaned up the shrubs, spread some fresh pine straw, and made sure the lines in the tall Bermuda grass were noticeable. What most people may not know about me is that I love the look of well groomed, luscious green lawn. Since I was a young child, making sure that our lawn looked immaculate has been a passion so much so that I began cutting other people’s lawns as a business. Like a painter, prepping to sell our home was like having a show at the High Museum. All my work on the outside of our home had helped multiple people to schedule an appointment to come in and see the beauty on the inside, then it was sold.

In 2021, my wife moved into our current home and from the first time that she stepped inside, I could tell this was the place for her. I have often overheard her describe it as her forever home. So, we spent the first year getting things together inside of the home, not it was time for me to focus on the outside.

Can I be honest? It is difficult to go from a plush lawn without weeds to weedsville. LOL!!! In my head, this was going to be a three-year process to get it on the right path. First year I must focus on aerating, removing the weeds, and keeping them cut. Now I am in year two and I am facing the dreaded “PATCHES” in the yard where, what seemed like grass, but were weeds have died and left gaps in the yard. So last week, like my previous home, I started the seeding process. For those of you that may not care or may have others to do provide this service, here are the steps: Prepare, Apply, and Water. Got it! I grab my rakes and start preparing. OMG!!!! It took me so much longer to prepare. Why do these small patches have so much dead grass, rocks, and other stuff compiled in there. So finally, after several breaks, lots of water, and multiple pep talks to myself, I applied the seed, then watered the grass. My underestimation of what it would take to prepare almost got the best of me. Fortunately, the vision of my yard flourishing kept me moving forward.

After sitting down and thinking about the process, I was reminded of how my mindset with the yard is like how I approach my walk with the Lord. In John 10:10, Jesus states, “The thief does not come except to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come that you may have life, and that they may have it abundantly.” Great news, yet he also tells a parable (story with principle) about a sower.

“Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.” Mark 4:3-8, NIV

After reading this again, I am reminded that where the seed lands will determine its ability to fulfill its purpose of producing. Like my yard, preparing the soil is invaluable for one to see the desired outcome. Preparation. Preparation. Preparation. We hear it in business, but sometimes, I can be lax when it comes to the matter of my soil/heart.

I have been challenged this year by the Lord to being godlier.  1 Timothy 7b-10 states, “Cornelius, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for ALL things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.” OK, so just as I did with my lawn, let me come up with a plan, get the right tools, and begin preparing. Just as quickly as that thought had come to me, I was directed to Philippians 2:13, “Cornelius before you begin on relying on your motivation, remember it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Godliness and abundance always begin with God. So, my preparation must begin with submission and surrender to Jesus, then devising the plan.

Like my lawn, Jesus wants my life and your life to be rid of those things that would be an impediment to abundance or Jesus’ intended purpose of bearing fruit. I am reminded of a few lines from a song that I used to sing in my early years with Young Life that seems to fit this moment.

Lord prepare me, to be a sanctuary. Pure and holy Tried and true. And with thanksgiving, I’ll be a living Sanctuary, oh for You.


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