Mowing Into the Empty Lot Next Door (A Metaphor for Growth)

June 2, 2010 by cloften  
Filed under Family and Parenting

On one side of our house there are three empty lots.  We have lived here for four years and there hasn’t been any change.  To some degree it feels like the lot backs (I guess sides) to a small woodland area.  It’s been nice.  You want to buy our house?

Also, for the last four years, just about every time that I mow, I have mowed about 2 inches into that empty lot.  For a little while it was grass.  Then it became small bushes and giant weeds.  Most recently it has been stuff that a reasonable person would not run over with his cheap push mower.  (Un)fortunately, I am not that reasonable.  Why would I do this, especially since I hate mowing?  Well, it makes our side yard look bigger.  (For the record, I have not moved the property stakes.)

What difference can a couple of inches make in the way your yard looks?  Well, not much really.  Except that I have been doing this for 4 years now.  We now, no exaggeration have about 8 feet of additional yard.  We have seeded grass over there, treated weeds, filled in dirt.  (Pretty silly for property we don’t own, I know)  But it looks great and we love it. 

What does this have to do with anything?  Great question.  Two inches is not that much, but over time makes a huge difference in the appearance of our yard.  So often, this is also how we grow in our relationship with God and in our character–two inches at a time.  Sometimes we wonder if we really are becoming more like Jesus, becoming the men and women that he has called us to be.  We don’t see it.  Perhaps you’re an anxious person and have been for some time, and it frustrates you that you still struggle with anxiety.  Maybe you get angry.  Maybe you have a judgmental spirit.

When we struggle with sin like this, often we just want it to go away, and it doesn’t seem to.  We can wonder if God is really working in our lives.  We grow impatient that we don’t see radical change in our lives, immediately.  If I can pop popcorn in the microwave in two minutes, shouldn’t God be able to root out my worst sins in less time than that?  Sure, he could, but how God often deals with us is one day at a time, one circumstance at a time, “two inches” at a time. 

Look back six months, a year, four years.  How has God grown you, changed you, matured you?  Are you the same person you were or are you slowly becoming more and more like His Son.  How much has God taught you in the journey?  He is not simply and suddenly removing all sin from your life, but buidling a relationship with you every day and you are building more trust in him every day.

Sometimes we will experience radical overnight change, but that is rarely the norm.  Also, there are some of us that aren’t walking with God at all, who are still the same person, if not worse, that we were 4 years ago.  (There may be a harsher blog post in your future).  However, I want this to be encouragement to the bulk of us who daily are trying to walk with God, please him, be genuine Christ followers, and experience the ups and downs and life.  God is working in your life.

Know that day by day God is reclaiming the yard of the empty lot of sin in your life two inches at a time.  (Cheesy and took the metaphor one step too far.  Success!!)


2 Responses to “Mowing Into the Empty Lot Next Door (A Metaphor for Growth)”
  1. Amy Loften says:

    LOL – awesome and insightful as always. I needed that encouragement and I like that metaphor.

  2. Carolyn Loften says:

    Amen, brother Charlie! What a wonderful reminder of God’s grace. When I was younger, I thought by the time I was 40 I would be so wise that people would come up to me just for my wisdom. It has been a few years since I was 40 and I know less about the Lord today than when I was young. Mainly we are so arrogant then that we think we know everything. As we mature in Jesus we see ourselves as just scratching the surface of who He is.

    Anywho (I heard a famous person say that once.) I can look back even in the last 5 years and see where God has changed me in drastic ways – 2 inches at a time.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!