That was some winter we had!Oh, you don’t remember it either? Maybe there
is something to that “Global Warming” after all. (No, I am not really going
It does seem that we went directly from Fall
to Spring.I don’t know about you, but I
did not pass “Go” or collect my $200.And as things stand right now, I could have really used that $200 to go
toward repairing my riding lawnmower. The mower is in the shop, but the
incredibly inconsiderate grass/weed blend in my backyard just keeps right on
growing without a care in the world.
So, I was forced to mow the backyard with my
21-year-old push mower.That is not to
be confused with my 21-year-old mower pusher, who is off at college and somehow
thinks that getting his education is more important than keeping dear old Dad’s
yard looking nice.
What normally takes about 20 minutes riding
took 2 ½ hours pushing.It also required
three tanks of gas.Not to mention what
I put in the mower!
I did some pondering during this little
backyard adventure.You aren’t surprised
by that, I’m sure.If you are one of my
faithful readers, you know that pondering is what I do best (or at least what I
My pondering led me to consider a couple of
things for which I am thankful.One is
riding lawnmowers.Thankfully, only that
backyard is growing really fast.If I
had to do the whole 1.3 acres with the push mower, we could have some serious
I’m also thankful for a good workout.I have to admit that I am not good about
getting adequate exercise.That 2 ½
hours of pushing and pulling and walking and sweating was the best workout I
have had in awhile.And I did it outside
on a beautiful day.Perhaps I’ll start
the newest exercise craze: Body by Briggs and Stratton.I can see it now.Videos, late night infomercials, denim
spandex leotards (oops, gotta delete that mental image).
I talk a lot about perspective in this blog from week to week.Perspective is what
keeps the reality before us that our lives matter to God.It is really easy to focus on things like
broken lawnmowers, inconveniences, challenges, and difficulties.Perspective helps us to identify those things
for which we can be thankful—even in the middle of the challenges.
Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Don't worry about
anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him
for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds
anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you
live in Christ Jesus."
So, I have sprung forward into spring, I have
an old push mower that works, and I am able to walk behind it. Life is good.
But my feelings won’t be hurt when I can once
again do my pondering while riding.
Three more of my friends buried a parent this
past week, but I don’t want Life Matters to be the weekly grief report, so I’m
not going there this time.If I stick
with my foundational belief that our lives matter to God, I will sometimes
write about how we process the difficult times in life.I will also sometimes write about how we
celebrate the joys in life, stumble through the curiosities of life, and laugh
through the bloopers of life.If our
LIVES matter to God, that means that He cares about all of the above!
This week’s Life Matters is my 111th
edition of what started out as an email devotional to members of my church
family sometime around 1997.I should
say that there are 111 that can still be found somewhere.Sometimes you don’t think about how something
is going to grow when you first start out and I didn’t keep those early
ones.But since March 9, 1998, I have
kept them.The first 58 can be found in
an archive on my website (gerrylewisonline.com). The last 53 of them have
appeared online in blog form.The last
44 of them have appeared as a column in the Azle News.
My hope is that my words each week encourage
you on the journey of life.I love
hearing from people who tell me they enjoy my column/blog.I love it when people ask, “How’s Mrs. Sweetie?”I know they’ve been reading.It has been a sincere blessing to have a
reason to write every week for almost a year now.
If I had been writing once a week for all
those years, I would be over 600 editions by now, but when there was no
deadline, no publisher or editor waiting for an email by Monday morning, life
sometimes got in the way of writing about life.
You may be wondering where this rambling
reminiscence is headed. Part of it is about a realization that I came to a few
months ago: Writing is part of why God put me on this planet.Encouraging, empowering, and (occasionally,
hopefully) entertaining people with written words is part of my purpose for
living.When I am not regularly writing,
I am less effective in other areas of life.
So, why do I need this weekly deadline to
motivate me to do what is so central to my sense of purpose?Because life happens.Because the swelling tide of urgency
sometimes crashes in until the really important things are swept out into the
sea of good intentions.(Ok, maybe that
was a little over the top, but you get the metaphor). The weekly deadline is
one of many forms of accountability that serve as anchors that hold me fast to
my life’s mission.
There it is.Accountability.It is not a
hindrance to freedom, but an anchor that keeps us from drifting into such
trivialities that we lose our freedom to be the people we were created to
be.What keeps you connected to your
life’s mission?Who could help you by
being your “editor”?How do you want
your life to be read?