My Love/hate Relationship with my Yard…a metaphor Part 1
So one of the things that I at the same time relish and despise is mowing my yard.
I hate mowing my yard because as I am sweating out the grind of mowing, I cannot help but noticed every divot and brown spot. Every patch of crab grass seems like an acre, every weed seems to be ready to spawn an army of its kind. And so I push the heavy mower up and down the awkward hills of my yard, becoming more and more depressed with each line.
As I mow, all I can see is the little picture. I focus on the next five feet so that my lines stay straight. Even if my grass is marred with mange and discoloration, at least my lines will be straight! And so the hour long process kills me. It plays against my awkward, half-butted perfectionism – which is obviously the most awkward form of perfectionism.
Every stray tissue, every pile of dog feces, every ant hill feels like an indictment.
And so, I trudge towards the finish line, where I put away the mower and sit on the porch enjoying a cold beverage. As I do this, something happens. I eventually stop sweating. But even more important, I start to look out over the yard and something dawns on me. It’s actually not that bad. From the vantage point of my chair, I can see the big picture. My yard is kind of nice.
The crab grass seems to have disappeared; the weeds can’t be seen. The brown spots seem to have shrank and I can’t find any dog crap. The lines that looked slightly crooked as I mowed look like they have been laid out with geometric precision.
And so many times, life is just like this. As we work our way though a difficult season, all we can see is the problems. And even worse, the problems seemed to be magnified by the proximity. And yet instead of trusting that the bigger picture is more beautiful than I can imagine, I rage against God. I am upset that he won’t give me what I want; that he won’t rescue me from my discomfort. How dare he have something bigger in store?
This morning, I read a quote by TIm Keller that sums up my selfishness:
Jesus says, I will not be hurried because I love you. I know what I am doing. And if you try and impose your understanding of schedule and timing on my, you will struggle to feel loved by me.