As a male, I’ve found that growing from a boy into a man involves hitting a few milestones (we’ll call them manstones from now on) along the way. Learning to handle my money, learning to shave, washing my own car for the first time, and manning the odd barbecue are just a few important manstones that helped solidify my questionable status as a ‘fully fledged man’. Yesterday I added another – I mowed the lawn!
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. ‘Why the heck haven’t you done that before, you’re 23 for goodness sake!’ Well, I don’t really know. I guess it’s just never something I have ever needed to do. However, my step-dad moved out early on in the year and that has left me as the man of the house. Haha, don’t worry, I find that amusing too. As I passed this sacred manstone and took another baby step towards being a grown-up, I couldn’t help but think that we can liken our faith and spiritual discipline to mowing the lawn.
A walk with God cannot simply be ‘left’. If you make a commitment to follow Jesus and then do nothing about it for the rest of your life, the chances are you will be overwhelmed with the things of this world; I’d be surprised if Jesus was the centre of your focus. Temptation will grow and grow and if left unchecked, it could take over your life. Like the overgrown garden that I needed to tackle yesterday, your faith requires work to really encounter all that God has in store for you.
The spiritual equivalent of a lawn mower in this metaphor, in my opinion, is the Bible. I find that regularly reading the Bible builds my faith and helps me to steer away from the earthly temptations that I tend to gravitate to. I know myself well enough to know that when I choose not to regularly read God’s Word, I often struggle in many areas of my life. Temptation grows wild and starts to wreak havoc in my life. Maybe you’re more disciplined than I am…if so, I’d love some tips! However, when I read the Bible regularly, I find that life is, quite simply, beautiful. I get to live life the way that God intended me to – my brokenness dictates that it’s only a matter of time until I let temptation grow more than it should, but the wonderful thing about Jesus is that he knows that and loves me regardless. But whilst a garden overgrown with temptation is acceptable, it’s a long way from what God desires for us.
How is yours looking right now? Is this something that you’ve sorted in your life, or something that needs to be addressed? If I’m totally honest, I’ve got some ‘spiritual mowing’ to do.