Mowing Lawn and Theology
Many years ago my dad gave me his twelve-year-old riding lawnmower. “If you’re careful,” he advised, “you might get a couple more years out of it.
The first time I used it, I prayed. I thanked God for his provision and for my parents’ generosity. I asked God to keep the mower running. Most every time I mowed lawn since then, I repeated that prayer. With my prayers, regular maintenance, and a few repairs along the way, the mower kept running—for another fifteen years.
When my friend moved, he sold me his riding mower for a great price, and I retired my faithful, worn out one. Out of habit, I continued praying when I mowed lawn, thanking God for his provision and my friend. I’d ask God to keep the mower running. That was ten years ago. With my prayers, regular maintenance, and a few repairs along the way, the mower has kept running.
Last week I was in a hurry when I mowed lawn. I forgot to pray. After a few minutes, the mower broke, leaving me with a partially groomed lawn. Fortunately, the repair was easy, and soon I was back on the mower, praying as I finished my work.
It would be wrong to make an absolute theological conclusion from me forgetting to pray and having my lawnmower break, but there is a lesson. God used this to remind me that, “When you pray, I listen.”
Thank you Jesus for this reminder, your provision, and my friend’s generosity. Please keep my mower running.
(In two weeks, I’ll give my lawnmower to my son. If he’s careful, he should get a couple more years out of it.)
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.