On Saturday morning, I decided that my grass needed to be mowed. So I got out my lawn mower, filled it with gas, and went to the back yard (I always start in the back yard because we have two dogs…).
My lawn mower has five cut levels on it. I have always kept it on the middle one. But on Saturday I had a strange thought. If I move the cut level down one notch...then I might not have to mow the next weekend.
Besides the back yard being very well fertilized (see two dog comment above), it had also been about two weeks since I last mowed. The grass was pretty high. But my one track mind was to not have to mow the next weekend. So I started cutting.
It wasn’t too long before the mower started sputtering; so I would have to push down on the handle so the blade could clear the cut grass out and then it would work fine...for about the next 20 feet.
I finished the back yard and as I moved to the front I thought about raising the blades back to “normal.” But decided it wouldn’t be too bad...I’d made it through the back yard, surely the front wouldn’t be as tough.
As I approached the halfway point of the front yard, the mower sputtered, I pushed the handle down, and it died. I pulled the starter rope, and nothing. I thought it might be too hot. So I got a drink, came back and it still wouldn’t start.
I thought about fuel...but it typically takes about 3/4 of a tank to mow back and front, so that couldn’t be it. But I checked anyway. Guess what? I was out of fuel!
So I put more gas into the mower and finished mowing. Once everything was put away, I went back into the house and saw that it had taken me two and a half hours to mow: normally I can mow, do the weed eater, etc. in about an hour and a half.
I made what I thought was just a small change: I lowered the mower 1/4-1/2 an inch. And it took twice as much gas (there was about 1/2 a tank left when I finished) and it took me an hour longer to complete the task.
So what does this have to do with you? Sometimes in our lives we can make a “minor” change that has major results. Sometimes the results are what we expected (it remains to be seen if I have to mow this weekend)...sometimes they are not what we expect (extra gas and time).
When we gave our lives to Christ and made Him our Lord, we decided to make a change in our lives. That change has consequences.
Sometimes the consequences are what we anticipated: our sins are washed away, we become a part of a loving and caring family of believers that rejoice with us when we rejoice and weep with us when we weep (see 1 Corinthians 12:26).
Sometimes the consequences are not what we anticipated: the denial of self and our selfish desires, taking up our cross daily and following Jesus (see Luke 9:23) can cost us friends, family, a job, financially, and in other ways we never imagined.
But while I don’t know if the extra gas and time were worth it right now, eventually I will know if I made a good change or a useless change to my mowing habits.
However we can have complete confidence that changing our lives from serving self to serving Christ will be worth the sacrifice. Heaven is truly beyond anything we can ask or imagine (see Ephesians 3:20-21).