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A Long Story on Short Grass

Every spring I begin the season with high hopes. This will be the time, so I think, when I emerge victorious in “the battle of the lawn.” I was able to hold onto that hope for about a month this year. Now, hope for “victory” has turned into praying for “survival.”

I suppose I should define some terms. To me, “victory” over the lawn means cutting the grass at the right time and to the proper height. It means never having to use the rake. It means deciphering the weatherman’s “chancy” rain forecasts, keeping one’s eye on an ever-growing lawn (yes, watching grass grow,) and balancing a host of other time-demands, both planned and unplanned. In short, “victory” means staying current in the “delicate ballet” that is lawn maintenance. “Survival” means keeping the grass mowed just often enough so as not to lose the dog in it when he “goes” outside.

In my defense, and I claim this every year, it’s not my fault! Cool, moist mornings and warm afternoons are lawn luxuries. Add to that the random, every-other-day rains, and you can begin to see how I have become overwhelmed in mowing mayhem. Between tall grass and weeds, chaos rules the lawn. I’m ready, already, to throw in the rake!

I’ve read that chaos and creation haven’t always come as a packaged deal. The first pages of the Bible tell me that God looked upon His creation and proclaimed it, “Good.” When He had finished creating, He declared it to be “Very good.” It follows that certain choices made by our proto-ancestors skewed the good creation towards the mess that it has become. Yes, I now have an ultimate Someone to name for my grass gaffes. His name is Adam, and his curse is mine! (Genesis 3:17-19.)

We too easily and too often dismiss those early pages of the Bible as either trivia or erratum, as if the author needed to begin The Story somewhere, to include some sort of creation account, and this one or that would have served us just as well. I once heard a seminary-trained Bible College professor asserting that the Genesis account was actually a figurative work of poetry and should be read in the abstract and not so much as any form of historical record. The more conversant I become with the Bible, the less credence I lend to his assertion.

I am convinced that a proper understanding of Genesis is essential to our understanding of what is going on in this world and what God is doing (or has done) about it. It is there, in Genesis, we learn that creation began as good, life-affirming and relational. Later, as noted, it devolved toward chaos, death and individualism. All of this is detailed in the first few chapters of that book while the remainder of that book, and the sixty-five others following, tell the story of how God, the Creator, goes about setting things aright. Perhaps this month, between mowings, it would serve us all well to go back and re-read this book, or to begin a study of how often the Genesis account is referenced in other places in the Bible. It is referenced a lot, and that would serve you well as a good study.

I close with a sobering reminder from 1 Peter 1:24 (quoting Isaiah 40,) where he writes, “All flesh is as grass,
      And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass.
      The grass withers,
      And its flower falls away,
      But the word of the LORD endures forever.”

May we be ever mindful of those things which endure.

Praying your lawn looks better than mine,

Pastor Clint

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