It's How You Finish
This is the second time I have attempted to mow grass at the farm on the red Exmark radius zero turn mower.
The first time I nearly lost my life barreling full force into an unsuspecting pine tree with Will running to my rescue. "Pull back! Pull back! Pull back!"
And my heart? How do I pull it back? Man, I was a goner. Time for a break though I just started.
Okay, I admit it. I'm not extremely coordinated (yet) with this machine.
Right arm forward turn left. Left arm forward turn right. Both arms forward go straight. Both arms toward chest stop.
Sounds easy, but the maneuvering is sooooo sensitive. I feel like I'm trying to do a mind coordination trick where I am tapping my right food, rotating my left arm in a backward circle, and doing a repeat high five gesture with my right hand while singing "The Star Spangled Banner."
Today was not much better. At least at the start. Geesh, I got myself dangerously close to the back of the house where the terrain isn't even. I'm now wedged between stone steps, the house, the wooden steps to the laundry room, the big tree trunk while that loud mower keeps grumbling at me.
William kindly asked me (although his head was bent a bit sideways and one eyebrow was up) if I wanted him to pull it down where he had already cut the first path around the peripheral of several sections to set my course.
With my I-mean-business mom voice, I kindly responded (although my lips were twisted and both eyebrows knit), "No, thank you, son. I will get this."
And if you could have seen just how well I "had it." It really wasn't pretty--the yard that is. Repeatedly I couldn't make it turn quite right - I felt like I was in some Hollywood movie being filmed.
You know, when the guy on the mower is cutting in every direction but straight, turning in circles, zigging and zaggin? Yes, that was me, but don't tell anybody, please, as it was either that or sling myself off the beast.
Eventually, thank God, I did get the hang of it.
Now. Lest you think this story is all for nothing, hold on.
During my bumpy ride as I was seriously reflecting on my increasingly professional mowing style, thanking God I was alive, and trying to enjoy my stunning surroundings and the invigorating country air, it came to me.
It's not how we start--it's how we finish.
I had just seen Overcomer, so this message was fresh on my mind. My favorite character was Mr. Hill (Hannah's ailing father). What a transformation God can do! It's never, ever too late to start doing what is right. It's never too late to start running the race in such a way as to win the prize.
Many of us have had a bit of a bumpy journey. Our lives aren't pretty by Christian or world standards.
We make mistakes. We fall in defeat. Maybe we are facing giants along the way, and we are not equipped. Maybe we are in such pain from the "blisters" on our feet that taking one more step is excruciating. so we quit. Maybe we get distracted and are led off course. Perhaps we are stumbling about in the dark with a boatload of toxic thinking bringing us down. We hurt others and others hurt us. We start comparing ourselves to others. We are selfish and prideful.
Maybe our past looks a bit like the lawn I was mowing in Frankfort, KY: Disorganized, messy, even pitiful.
Have you ever read these Scriptures penned by the Apostle Paul:
And herein lies the key to ultimate life victory (and don't you think Paul of all people ought to know?):
It encourages my heart to know that it's about crossing the finish line.
And as to my mowing adventure, I completed the yard and it looked amazing. From this perspective the yard looked like a beautiful sea of green, evenly trimmed, and stunning against the expanse of the blue sky.
Never mind the patches that were poking up under closer inspection or the areas I scalped when I was going so fast over unknown bumps that the cutting blades landed lower on the downtake slicing the grass down to the dirt. Ouch.
With each mishap, I learned how to do it better next time.
Be encouraged today, friend. It's not about the mess, but rather the message. It's how you finish. So keep going. Be grateful for the powerful lessons learned along the way. You got this! You can do it! You're not alone.
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