Above photo: Gracie and I are hard at work in the backyard
Followers of this blog know that every Fall, I whine on and on about my arduous Leaf Collection Campaign. Every November and the first couple of weeks of December, much of my spare time is consumed with collecting all of the leaves that fall from the oak trees in our yard and from those in neighbors’ yards bordering our property (Argh!). This last campaign, I hauled 70 tarpfulls of leaves to the curb. Nope, that’s not a typo. 7-0 tarpfulls.
Anyway, I had 3 months to convalesce and now I’m in the middle of the Spring Clean-up Campaign. That entails:
- Collecting all of the large branches and twigs that fell throughout the Winter.
- Picking up all of our dog’s droppings from the last 3 months.
- Raking the lawn thoroughly with a metal rake to remove small twigs, acorns, dead grass, “snow mold,” and all leaves leftover from the Fall.
- Using a metal rake to carefully remove all of the leaves that accumulated in the ivy and pachysandra patches in the yard.
I’ve completed steps #1 and #2 and I’m methodically still working on #3 and #4. Our lawn is about 1/2 acre and raking the entire area is a lot of work for a senior citizen. I’ve brought 11 very full paper lawn bags to the curb so far. The large amount of leaves in the ivy and pachysandra will require hauling tarpfulls to the curb.
The good thing about Spring Clean-up is I get to be outside and breath lots of fresh air after being cooped up inside for three months. I also get to listen to good sermons via my iPhone and earbuds while I’m working.
A spiritual lesson often comes to mind when I’m raking in the Spring. As I drag the metal rake over the grass, it removes unwanted objects, but it’s also stressful on the grass. I’m not one who credits plants with having feelings, but if they did those grass blades would be letting out a big “Ouch!” every time I dragged that metal rake over them. While the raking is stressful to the grass, in the big picture it’s very helpful as I’m removing dead grass (dethatching) and exposing more of the soil to air and moisture for a healthier lawn.
The Bible says that God has us go through difficulties and trials to refine us to be more like Jesus Christ. We often accumulate bad habits and temptations in our lives that need a good cleaning out. When the negative attachments are removed, our spiritual walk with the Lord becomes sweeter and healthier.
The Lord’s discipline may be uncomfortable and even painful in the short term, but in the big picture we will praise the Lord for His wise and perfect care.
4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”
7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. – Hebrews 12:4-11
Postscript: No raking today! A thin blanket of snow is covering all of the lawns here in Rochester.