Recently our family added one of those manual push mowers that are reminiscent of the 1950s. My husband wanted it to mow the steep bank near the road. I wanted it to mow without an engine near the beehives. While I calmly pushed the mower back and forth in straight lines by the hives, I watched the bees flitter to and fro.
While doing a seemingly menial task, I had several moments to mentally review a scripture that my small group has been memorizing as a group this last month.
Philippians 2:14-15 (NASB) “Do all things without complaining or arguments; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generations, among who you appear as lights of the world.”
I recited it a couple times, but I kept getting distracted by the rolls of sweat that were coming off my face and straight into my eyes. I blinked several times and then started reviewing the scripture again. Only to have it happen several more times.
Finally, I stopped mowing, took off the bee suit hat and face shield, removed my glasses and started wiping my face off. Put my glasses back on and they instantly fogged up. Put the bees hat/face shield back on. Sweaty hair stuck to my forehead and glasses. Take hood off, fix hair, glasses smudged…and then…sweat rolls into my eyes.
Insert frustration, some real tears, and a few choice words.
And then a bubble of laughter came out of my mouth. There I was half in a bee suit in 100-degree heat of Alabama, with a 1950s-ish mower, and sweat stinging my eyeballs, when the first part of my memory verse came to mind. “Do all things without complaining or arguments…”
While the verse is specifically addressing the previous admonitions that Paul had mentioned in the Philippians letter, it sure did feel like it applied directly to me in that moment. All the murmurings…all the discontentment…all the complaining in that moment were not useful. They weren’t assisting me with completing the task, nor were they going to exemplify Christ in that moment.
I’m so grateful for the corrections that God’s holy word provides us; the conviction from the Holy Spirit for us to change course.
It got me to reassess my own attitude in the moment of “lawn mowing time” with some heat, humidity, sweat and tears all mixed together.
For each of us, I pray this next week will be one without complaining or argument.
One thought on “Mowing Time”
I understand. I first learned this verse as, “Do all things without murmuring or complaining .” Being a visual learner, I could imagine a cartoon character going about, “murmur, murmur.”
I had to laugh also, at the thought of that character being me. The verse has stayed with me ever since. Usually it takes less time to just do the task than to complain and procrastinate about it. Yes, God has provided us with much good instruction.
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