I vacuumed my yard today.
I’m actually pretty proud of myself.
I know, it sounds really weird.
I should explain.
I’m not a yard person.
I’ve mowed grass once in my life. . . and I got fired half way through the job.
Ask my parents – they’ll tell you I was never allowed to mow their lawn again.
I so appreciate other people’s yards but when it comes to my own, well lets just say I’ve been begging my brother in law to nominate me for a yard make-over show. He says he just needs to take pictures and I’ll be an instant sympathy case.
It’s really bad.
But I’m proud of myself because today, all of that changed.
Because, I vacuumed my yard.
I took my shop vac out and sucked up 4 years worth of dead leaves that had fallen off of our crab apple tree.
I dunno if you’re supposed to do that with a shop vac and the truth is – I don’t care.
It’s how I do yard work.
And maybe you’re one of those practical people who like getting top soil under your finger nails and you bag your leaves by hand, tie them up in those eco-friendly bags and put them at the end of your driveway in a neat little pyramid. You should know, your neighbors probably hate you. You set a Martha Stewart standard that no one can touch – but guess what, if you enjoy doing yard work that way, you should grab your rake and hold it high and say with me and my shop vac – I don’t care.
Or maybe you’ve outsmarted us all and you live in a townhome with an association and you have “people” to do yard work for you. You should know, I envy you. But if that is how you do yard work and how you enjoy your yardwork then raise your bill for your association dues and say with me, my shop vac, and my friend with the rake – I don’t care.
But the yardie, we should all be careful to not become is the one keeping up with the Joneses. You know, trying to do our yard work the way someone else does it because they claim it is the only Better Homes & Gardens acceptable way to do yard work.
Now Jesus turned to address his disciples, along with the crowd that had gathered with them. “The religion scholars and Pharisees are competent teachers in God’s Law. You won’t go wrong in following their teachings on Moses. But be careful about following them. They talk a good line, but they don’t live it. They don’t take it into their hearts and live it out in their behavior. It’s all spit-and-polish veneer.
“Instead of giving you God’s Law as food and drink by which you can banquet on God, they package it in bundles of rules, loading you down like pack animals. They seem to take pleasure in watching you stagger under these loads, and wouldn’t think of lifting a finger to help. Their lives are perpetual fashion shows, embroidered prayer shawls one day and flowery prayers the next. They love to sit at the head table at church dinners, basking in the most prominent positions, preening in the radiance of public flattery, receiving honorary degrees, and getting called ‘Doctor’ and ‘Reverend.’
Matthew 23:1-7 (The Message)
You and I don’t get to define who God is and what he stands for, he is the I am. He is who he is and he likes being God. I kind of like him being God too, I don’t want to change him or fit him into the box of religion. He’s not swayed by popular opinion. He doesn’t get intimidated into being a cookie cutter God.
And the best part is . . . he gets really pissed off when people try to put us into a box of religion too.
He’s jealous like that.
He likes us real.
Even if we’re a little odd about yard work.
He isn’t interested in cookie cutter people.
He likes our diversity, our differences, our goofiness that makes us, well us.
So Jesus was pretty adamant that we not get suckered into falling for the line that we have to follow other people’s rules to get to hang out with him.
He is God and he wants to be with us.
Like a dad with his kids.
Even if they do crazy things like clog the Shop Vac filter with dirt and leaves.
And if the Bible isn’t enough to convince you that it’s important to know who YOU are to God then here’s a little Dr. Suess for some added inspiration:
“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no alive who is Youer than You.” – Dr. Suess –