Since moving to Marvell, we have been embarking on a concerted campaign to improve the yard at the parsonage. My friends at Superior Lawn Service have been a big part of that. Periodically they spray fertilizer or post-emergent to keep weeds and undesirable grasses to a minimum.
When the tree was trimmed last year, a good deal of canopy got removed, allowing sun on previously bare places. In addition, every year, I fertilize the backyard and try to relocate the trampoline often enough to prevent bare spots in the turf. So the yard, like much of the rest of my life, is a work-in-progress. In need of considerable care but responding to consistent maintenance.
Donovan is my primary lawn care person, though he has been insistent that his sister be indoctrinated into that job as well. He adamantly reminds me that he was mowing the grass regularly by the time he was ten. I remind him, with limited success, that his sister is a different person with different abilities. Unfortunately, he really doesn’t believe that could be the case. He prefers instead to continue to view her as spoiled or favored.
The little push mower we have was bought used from a lawnmower repair person in Fayetteville in 2008. Every parsonage we’ve lived in had been mowed with that little 20” mower. Unfortunately, Donovan destroyed the original motor on in by running it over a piece of cast-iron water pipe in our yard in Paragould. I paid a repairman over $200 to place the motor on that unit in 2017. It will likely be the only push mower I will ever need.
We’ve been looking into the purchase of a riding mower, but they are hard to find. I even considered purchasing a used mower, but often that can be a risky proposition. Finally, I found a good deal on a new one in Forrest City Saturday. Donovan was very excited that I had made that purchase. He still wants his sister to help with the mowing, but he feels it’s in her best interest that she start with the little 20” push mower.
Life is full of decisions. So when is the right time to teach a child a new skill? How and when do you decide to make a significant purchase? How do we forge and maintain essential relationships? These questions and others like them affect our lives in ways we don’t often anticipate.
After I purchased and loaded the new mower, I parked the truck in a shady spot at the back of the parking lot. As I walked back toward the store to find Penny, a man approached me with questions regarding the mower. He, too, was looking for a riding mower. We both agreed that I’d gotten a good deal.
During our conversation, I mentioned that my current treatment regimen for skin cancer meant limiting sun exposure. Our conversation appeared to be approaching its conclusion as we prepared to enter the store. As we approached the door, Jose told me he was being treated for prostate cancer. Not knowing if I was a Christian (or a pastor), he asked me to pray for him. His doctor had noticed an irregularity in some routine tests and referred him back the get scans and a visit with the oncologist.
I stopped him at the door, told him I was a pastor, and we prayed together right there near the entrance. People walked past, barely noticing that a spiritual transaction between two believers and the Lord was unfolding right in front of them. Our decisions, large and small, often have eternal significance. I strongly urge you to remain open to the myriad ways God makes surprise appointments in our lives.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16