When we bought our house I inherited a healthy palm tree as part of the deal. For sometime it has been an objective to get rid of it so with winter approaching and the trees ever expanding size, I woke up one Saturday and capitalised on my zealousness to remove it from my sight. Two Saturday’s later and it’s still there, clinging on for dear life!
At the end of each day spent on this project with my pick, axe and spade I have collapsed, faint with exhaustion like you wouldn’t believe. I’ve loved it though; pushing my body to its limits, battling the elements. Throughout the time my mind has reflected on the level of work and manpower demanded of me to achieve my goal.
These days we definitely have options available to us that release us from having to do things we would rather not do, particularly of the manual, sweaty kind. It is easy to outsource.
This approach to life does translate easily to how we do our faith. The reality though is that following in the shadow of Jesus is not easy and was never intended to be. Being gracious can be hard work, patience is a touch business and well intended expressions of love can be assaulted on every side.
Being a light of the world and a town built on a hill is a great rallying point but is tough to maintain. Our ‘light’ is incased in the clay of emotions, desires, insecurities and fears.
We often forget the road we have chosen; one travelled by comparatively few and that can be cover dry and mountainous terrain at times.
One thing I appreciate about Jesus was that he chose to be amongst us as a man, an average Joe who no doubt struggled with Mondays like I sometimes do. I find some solace when I remember He was as clay as I am which helps me take the next step in my dusty journey.
Companionship is another great analogy I valued during this project. My son Luke has been helping me every step of the way. Starting when I start, knocking off when I do. He even confidently declared at the start of the second day that we would dig it out that day and decided we should pray about it. It has been awesome achieving this with him at my side, cheering each other along the way. Hope is renewed through people we share our lives with. I often found strength and resilience with Luke at my side, chatting away and swinging tools twice his weight. He seems more determined and enthused by this project than me!
So I could have hired a digger, or even better, hired a company to complete the job for me, but how boring would that have been. I have valued the testing of my character and will power and love how this is shaping not just my life, but Luke’s as well.
One more Saturday and mission accomplished!!