I’ve lived in Florida for over twenty-one years and it still blows my mind that one of the things on my Christmas to-do list is “cut the lawn.” Granted, the days are a bit shorter, so the grass grows a little slower and I only have to cut and trim once a month or so. But for a guy who grew up in the northeast, it feels really strange to on sunblock and a hat, and do yard work in shorts and T-shirt just two days on Christmas Eve eve!
On the flip side, I enjoy the hour I spend cutting and trimming. (I like it better than bundling up to shovel snow.) Even though it is yard “work” there is something very relaxing about the sound of the mower, the smell of the freshly cut grass, the fresh air and the pattern of neatly cut rows. Today was especially nice: blue skies, just a few wispy clouds, 70 degrees with lower humidity, and just a hint of a breeze. No interruptions, no phone calls, songs going through my head, a bumper crop of pine cones to pick up and toss into the woods, and the satisfaction of a completed task.
That last benefit is rare. Oh, I complete a lot of tasks, but rarely get to see the results. The “results” ministry are matters of the heart and soul, both of which I can’t see. The rewards are often eternal rather than temporal. I don’t get to see what happens after you go home from church, or I leave after a visit, so I don’t have a concrete metric for ministry. I’m OK with that. As Paul reminds us, we plant and water, but God causes the growth. Someone else somewhere down the road may harvest what I plant today. There may not be fruit for generations, long after I’m gone. That’s all in God’s hands.
But I can cut the lawn. I can care for the little “yarden” God has given me. And I can sit back and enjoy a little sabbath when it’s all done. Amen!