Sunday, November 21, 2021

Sunday Morning - Rising Up!

Mowed my lawn for the last time of the season. I hope! Edged the lawn, trimmed the bushes, raked the leaves. Wrapped up my yardly duties for the winter.

Well, almost. Will definitely need to rake more leaves in a few weeks. Those dang things keep falling until Christmas it seems. 

But that's okay. It feels good to get out in the yard on a warm and sunny fall day (or even winter day) and get things done!

Sense of accomplishment. Satisfaction. Homeowner pride. Work well done. Pictures taken!

When we moved to our first home, I didn't consider yard work work. Know what I mean? It was an enjoyable and refreshing activity. It wasn't my full time job. My actual work was being a pastor of a church in a small town in western PA. 

So on Saturday or Sunday, I would mow our lawn. Or rake. Or garden. My wife and I and kids would get outside and pile up the leaves, jump in the leaves, scatter the leaves, then rake more leaves. We'd clean up the yard and enjoy the outdoors together.

Now we lived in the parsonage. Right next door to the church building. Five second commute. But did you catch what I just said? On the weekend, we'd do yard work. Work! On a Sunday, even.

One Sunday afternoon, after lunch and a nap, I fired up the lawnmower and enjoyed a beautiful day 'working' in our yard. We had a garden, so I probably picked some weeds, too.

But like I mentioned earlier, during those early days of having a home, yard work wasn't work. It was a refreshing and enjoyable hobby. It reenergized me since a lot of my work was indoors or visiting parishioners.

Well, at one deacon meeting, it was brought up that some people in the church were 'concerned' that I was seen mowing my lawn one Sunday afternoon.

I asked what the issue was. The issue was that I was working. On a Sunday. I said I'd just finished working that morning. Preaching on a Sunday. Mowing wasn't work. It wasn't what I did full time. It was a hobby.

They didn't see it that way. I didn't see it their way. It wasn't really a problem, though. I just kept mowing when I could - Saturdays mostly, but sometimes Sunday afternoons. We all learned to get along.

I even preached on observing the Sabbath. The necessity of breaking from your regular routine to rest and appreciate God's creation. To honor God by giving thanks for what he's given us. 

An illo: I made a point that if you're a professional tennis player, maybe it would be a good idea to cease from tennis one day a week and do something different. But for the rest of us, tennis might be a great option on a Sunday afternoon after worship.

Or if you're a professional lawn maintenance guy... (wink wink)

Now, thirty-mumble years later, I am not quite as enamored with yard work as I once was. It feels more like real work to me nowadays. But yesterday was my Sabbath. It was a day of refreshing rest mowing, raking, cleaning up. 

And today, Sunday, I can rest from my labors and enjoy God's handiwork, giving thanks (it's Thanksgiving this week, after all) for all his blessings. Including the blessing of being able to take care of the yard. 

Hope you can enjoy this day of rest as well, engaging in activities that encourage your soul and enlarge your heart for God and others. Have a wonderful Sunday.

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