Neglecting the Back Yard: Lessons Learned from Lawn Care.

Proverbs 4:23

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

So, today I ended up coming home from work a little early to tackle our yard situation.

The front yard needed to be cut…but it has only been about a week since I last cut it. And the back yard needed to be cut as well…which, had about 4 weeks since I last even looked at it.

The front lawn was a breeze.

I have kept up with it pretty regularly because it is what everyone in my neighborhood sees, including my HOA. So I’ve made it a point to give it top priority.

I was done in maybe 15 minutes tops.

The backyard is an entirely different matter. It was TOTALLY unyielding to my lawn mower.

As I stated, it’s been about 4 weeks since I last cut it….and we’ve had some rain…and lots of sunshine…so needless to say the grass was probably a foot high. It took me about an hour to get it done (I do not have a large back yard folks…an hour is completely unreasonable)…and this included several starts and stops as the mower got clogged up as I ran through thick grass, over sticks I didn’t see, and over children’s toys and whatever else was hiding underneath that thick layer of grass.

It’s funny how much we treat our lives like our yards.

We do a really good job of taking care of the things people can see. We are really good at making sure the “front lawn” looks like we have it together…after all…that’s what people see and that’s what we want them to think…all while we neglect the back yard…you know…the one BEHIND the privacy fence.

We let the things we think others can’t see grow out of control…those little things behind the privacy fence we think “I’ll get to that on Saturday” and then procrastinate about for another month…and then when we finally get around to trying to tackle those things…and we find that it’s MUCH harder and MUCH more frustrating than we ever could have imagined it would be.

We find ourselves starting and stopping several times as we lose our patience…or as the amount of junk we are faced with is clogging up our progress.

We unnecessarily run over things we didn’t realize were beneath the surface.

Things like our relationships with our kids and spouses.

Things like our relationships with others.

Things like our relationship with Jesus.

BUT…there is hope…because with time the back yard and a lot of back breaking work…it can be cleaned up. But it’s going to take a LOT of time and some serious frustrations to get it there.

The moral of this story?

Working on the public facing things in our lives is all well and good…and even necessary, but we should NEVER neglect the things people cannot see. If we do, we may find ourselves fighting something that has grown wild and out of control.

If we would simply maintain the back yard….we would find it much more manageable and easier to work with for the long haul.

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