Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Runs like new again

"If an ax is dull and one doesn't sharpen it first, then one must exert more force. 
It's profitable to be skillful and wise." - Ecclesiastes 10:10

   While this was not one of the verses I lifted up in this past weekend's sermon that attempted to summarize the entire book of Ecclesiastes, it is a great example of the straightforward wisdom found within those pages. Solomon was talking about axes, but he could just have easily made his point talking about lawnmowers, that is, if they'd been invented at the time. A lot of things can go wrong with a lawnmower, but even if everything else is just right, it does not accomplish its purpose well with dull blades. 
   This was my life until earlier this week. I'd come to realize that the blades on the Troy-Bilt Zero Turn 42" mower were more than just dull - some of them were missing. Over time, the ends of the blades had chipped off and were gone. It was most noticeable when the two blades, spinning side by side, would leave a 4" streak of tall grass, like a mohawk haircut, on every pass around the yard. So, Larry and I set out to replace the blades. After finding the right YouTube video, buying a $2 cheater bar to loosen the hexnuts underneath, and about two hours of work, we accomplished the task. It felt glorious. 
   This story offers more lessons and applications for my life than I can count. The one speaking the most clearly to me is this: it feels good to get things back to right, again. We get dulled and dinged by life. Some of have 'proverbial' parts missing, having been knocked off by some conflict with others or even a self-inflicted hurt. While we cannot go to the parts store on North Davis and find one to match our individual model numbers, there is a method for being restored 'like new,' again.    
   As Mark tells the story, Jesus enters the scene preaching a message that went like this, "Now is the time! Here comes God's kingdom! Change your hearts and lives, and trust this good news!" We don't need to go looking anywhere else for the replacement parts; God's power can change us from within. God can sharpen our minds and care for our souls, if we would just trust this good news
   Pray this with me: Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Grace and Peace, Scott

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