I know...I know...that's a little weird and strange.
But, I've found that God likes to move in unexpected ways in my life...
He tends to use the "shock effect" on me quite a bit...
He wants to know He's got my full attention. So, today as I mowed the lawn...
God spoke...and here's how the conversation went:
As I mowed the strip of grass that divides my side of the yard from my neighbor's, I couldn't help but recall the statement my Dad had made weeks ago about the weeds from my neighbor's lawn encroaching on mine. "You know, before long those weeds in your neighbor's lawn start becoming community property!" Now, my first thought was, "What am I supposed to do, walk up to my new neighbor (we've only lived here 4 months now) and say, 'Hey nice to meet you, by the way, do you mind keeping your weeds on your side of the line?!?'" With that kind of introduction, I'm pretty sure my neighbor would never speak to me again. There's nothing like someone pointing out the weeds in your yard...it's kind of like telling someone their kid is ugly.
So, as I mowed this strip of grass today, my Heavenly Father said,
"Don't worry about your neighbor's weeds."
Me: Huh? What did you say?
God: I need to talk to you about the "weeds."
Me: Right now? While I'm sweating like a pig and bugs are flying up my nose? Now?
Me: Can't we do this at our regular time, after I get cleaned up, around noonish?
*(Now that I live in Texas, God talks to me that way...the "Yep and Nope" stuff.
Glad I don't live in the Northeast!
That conversation would probably go something like:
Me: You talkin' ta me??
God: Yeah, I'm talkin' ta you!
just kidding LOL)
So I began listenin', and when God stopped talkin'...His Word began speakin' to my heart.
Weeds are so easy to compare to sin. They tend to come up easily and in very unexpected places. They're hard to get rid of. You can run over them with your mower...but they'll just grow back. They have to be pulled up or killed at the root. There's no other way to keep them from coming back. So, God's Word spoke volumes to me as I remembered my dad's words...I needed to be careful those "weeds" didn't start encroaching in on my property. I don't want the "bad" to corrupt the "good!"
Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character." 1 Corinthians 15:33
Yet, if I approached my neighbor with an attitude of pride at the superior care of my lawn and disgust in his...he would never speak to me again. Likewise, if I approached those who sin and said something like, "Hey, I don't like the way you live your life...look at all that sin (weeds)," I'd never have an opportunity to witness. What I really want is for my neighbor to continue to see how I care for my lawn, killing the weeds, and say, "Hey, I've noticed your lawn looks pretty great...what are you using to take out those weeds?" What I really want, if I'm living my life for Christ, is someone to say,"Hey, it seems like although you're dealing with a lot of trials in your life...you have a lot of peace and joy anyway...How do you do that?"
It's about taking care of the weeds in my own lawn...it's about examining my own life...
Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine.
Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you;
you have failed the test of genuine faith.
2 Corinthians 13:5
I don't need to point out to my neighbor that he has weeds consuming his yard and that they're encroaching on mine...the fact that I'm tending to my own yard and focusing on weeding my own property draws a line that will make it evident.
So as God's heart finished speaking to mine...I heard Him say,
"Well, I'll let you get back to work...
see ya at the end of the day."
"Thank you, Lord," I say.
As I finish the lawn and step inside to rehydrate and cool off...I peer out my windows, admiring the lawn...it looks really great. I've done a lot of work on it...it's come a long way! From a distance it does look good(how others see it), but for myself and God (with a close up viewpoint), we know otherwise.
I take a deep breath...sigh...and then hear God's still small voice say,
"You've got some weedin' to do."
"Yeah, I know Lord...thanks for pointing that out,"
"You're welcome," He so lovingly says.