Tag Archives: time

“A Time to Mow, a Time to Rake, a Time to Shovel, and a Time to Sow”

 

Well, here we go again.

I’m talking about firing up the lawn machines, mowing, trimming, fertilizing, weed-spraying, weed-eating, weed-picking, and the whole nine yards of yard and lawn care.

Actually, in my part of the country, we’ve been moving slowly back into mowing for at least a month. An April 29th snow which, I admit, I had hoped might slow the grass down a bit, didn’t much.

Friends in lower altitudes/swamps or other areas that spend most of the year garbed in green, or friends with yards the size of postage stamps, or, on the other hand, friends whose yards are the size of Rhode Island or a mid-sized Texas ranch, will have little sympathy for me.

If you can trim your yard in fifteen minutes, or if you’re sentenced by your geography to mow your massive estate twice a week in the summer, you’ll not likely shed many tears for a guy who grinches about having to mow once a week when the grass is really ginnin’.

I’m not looking for sympathy. I actually like seasons. And I like living in a place where we have four of them that are generally distinct. I admit that the more time the grass spends under snow, out of sight and out of my mind in the winter, the better I like it. I’d much rather ski over snow than mow over grass. But I’m fond of green, growing stuff (except dandelions and crab grass); I’m just happy that here grass—and weeds—take a few months off.

In my better moments, I even like mowing. A little. Sometimes. In my work, I get to visit with plenty of folks who’d absolutely love to be healthy enough to mow. That gives some perspective when I’m out cursing one hill in my yard that’s been trying to mow me under or break my ankles for thirty years.

I will also admit that chasing a mower over 10,000 square feet of grass seems a more productive exercise to me than chasing my tail in gerbil-like fashion down the belt of a treadmill. (I particularly despise lining up on those things with a bunch of other waddling gerbils.) I also like the fact that my cell phone is in the house when the mower and I are out in the yard. So mowing is not without some benefits.

My mother was a yard person. Well, actually, she was a gardening person. She was not averse at all to tackling lawn mowing chores, but she was more of a plant artist. I inherited her love of green things but not her ability. (I think my younger brother got more of her gardening gene.) Still, I try. I plant plants. About half live a normal plant lifespan.

Mom spent decades growing really pretty plants in the High Plains where ice in the winter, drought in the summer, and wind most of the year around all conspire to kill vegetation. But she was more than equal to the challenge. Then we moved to Houston and Mom got a canvas worthy of her ability. While she was there, it was beautiful. Ten minutes after she was gone, it reverted to swamp.

But in God’s economy no genuine beauty is ever wasted or irrevocably lost. I can hardly wait to see what God grows and lets us help tend in the new heavens and new earth where the season for joy is forever.

 

     You’re invited to visit my website at http://www.CurtisShelburne.com!

 

 

Copyright 2017 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.


Just Thinking About “Time in a Bottle”

 

“What is a grain of wheat?” Paul Tournier asks. “It contains a whole plant you cannot yet see. What is a silkworm? You cannot define it without seeing in advance all its metamorphosis. What is a child? You cannot describe him without thinking of the whole life of the man, with all its unknowns, for which he is preparing.”

As I first read those words years ago, I sat at my desk and examined the little Christmas present I had just received from my mother. It was a simple little thing—a small bottle with a glass stopper. Inside were ten or fifteen marbles. She’d tied a thin baby blue ribbon around the little bottle.

Once it was a vitamin bottle, but now it was becoming a very special paperweight. I remembered the marbles, every one. They were mine, or at least they had been.

The bottle? The bottle once sat on the small table by my aged maternal grandparents’ bed in the old house at Robert Lee, Texas. It had held just enough water to use to take a pill or to wet a dry throat.

Dr. Tournier writes of the metamorphosis, the transformation, we see when caterpillars are changed into butterflies and blonde-headed little boys into graying grandfathers. That little bottle is for me an appropriate symbol of the process. Nestled inside the glass bottle of the aged are the glass trinkets of childhood. Thus encapsulated by a marble-filled bottle is the whole spectrum of life from spring to winter, from youth to old age.

No one is immune to the metamorphosis wrought by time. With each tick of the clock every one of us is being transformed. Tournier is right. We see a small child and wonder what the adult will be like. We wonder about the many unknowns life holds for graduates walking across the stage. We each, no matter what our age, remember what we ourselves have been and ponder what we may yet become. The present flits into the past on the wings of a hyperactive hummingbird, and we are powerless to slow it down or grasp it into stillness. The future races to meet us with blinding speed, oppressed with such a low opinion of itself that it can’t wait to change its name to “The Past.”

But Christians needn’t be frightened of the frenetic future or paralyzed by the echoes of the past. We are all being changed, but God’s children know that the transformation can be filled with joy and hope. Our Creator promises to lovingly fill our lives with His life, continually re-creating us by Resurrection power, changing us “into Christ’s likeness from one degree of glory to another” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

 

Copyright 2012 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.


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