Saturday, June 2, 2007

a sunny epiphany

I just got done mowing the lawn on a beautiful, sunny Saturday morning here in Oregon and I had an epiphany.

It wasn’t the kind of epiphany where you come up with a revolutionary way of mowing the lawn using only brain waves. What good would that be to me anyway? I couldn’t produce enough juice to turn the contraption on, let alone cut the whole lawn.

It wasn’t the kind of epiphany where you come up with some fresh new idea for turning recycled grass into a food source to solve world hunger. Although I could see a great ad campaign, “Save the Grass…Save the World” with Chuck Heston screaming into the camera at the end, “Soylent Green is GRASS!”

This epiphany is so simple it hit me right between the eyes. My epiphany?

I’m just mowing weeds!

There, I said it! I know in and of itself it’s not all that “epiphany-worthy,” but it was ground breaking to me. I’ve been mowing only weeds every summer for a couple of decades now, and I know there are solutions. Many solutions. Aisles and aisles of solutions. I’m sure the guy down the street with the golf course for a lawn could school me on the finer points of greening up my “brown thumb.” It really shouldn’t be that hard. It rains a lot in Oregon. I mean…A LOT!

So I started thinking (something I don’t do that often because it hurts my head)…Why is my lawn so green and beautiful in the winter when it’s all stormy and I don’t feel like laying out in it? And why, in the summer, does all the grass die but the weeds become a thick jungle of raging thorns?

I know the answer is simple. I told you it was simple. I am a simpleton.

When it’s nice and beautiful outside, life is easy, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping. The weeds gang up on the grass and rule the yard. When it’s gloomy and rainy and drippy, the weeds die and the grass flourishes.

I’ve found this to be true in my life too. When things are easy…life is comfortable…the bills all get paid on time…relationships are smooth…

…the weeds start to grow.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not Winnie the Pooh’s donkey buddy trying to manufacture pain and suffering in my life. It’s just that I’ve noticed, when storms hit my life, the rain falls in buckets, when things aren’t so easy…I begin to really grow. To me that is the simple answer to the age-old question: “Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?”

He wants us to grow.

He wants to be able to show us off to the passersby like a plush, succulent green lawn. He wants to be able to enjoy walking barefooted all over us…Okay, well the analogy kind of breaks down there, but you understand what I’m saying.

I think that’s why in the Bible it says, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (James 1:2-4)

I don’t know about you, but that kind of gives me a new perspective on facing the torrents of rain in my life. Instead of whining and wallowing and “why me-ing,” I should just let it soak me to the skin. Instead of fuming and formulating and fighting, I should just pull a Gene Kelly and splash around in it.

Now, where did I put that fertilizer? It was just here…a few years ago!


Anonymous said...

Thats funny I mowed the lawn this morning too, only it was a beautiful morning in Nebraska and there were lots of weeds, but I didn't get an epiphany, I got sweaty, a really red face and a backache. It is clouding up again here for like the tenth day in a row, so I could actually go out and splash in the rain.


Brian said...

I love it that God gave me a brother that is different enough from me to bring a different perspective but enough like me to give me the sense that I'm not the only guy who thinks like this.

You make my world so much warmer!

I love you!


Kim Sell said...

You truly are a much deeper person than I am, I was sucked in waiting for the green lawn tip! Although I gotta say, this was much, much more needed. Thanks for doing your yard work man.


Curt Sell said...

Thanks Kim...but have you SEEN my lawn?!? You should've known I'd have a credibility issue when it comes to green lawn tips. =)

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As of May 27, 2009...

Wow, it's been almost a year since we've updated this. Our family had a wonderful experience traveling to Uganda two summers ago, which prompted us to keep a journal on this blog. You can read our daily journal from our month long trip

This year brings new adventures. Our eldest daughter, Courtney, after graduating from George Fox University with honors, left for her third trip to India to spend nearly a YEAR to work at Happy Home for the Handicapped in Shimoga, India. You can read about her first trip to India and the impact it had on her life here. She'll also give us new updates from her current trip on this site (here). As of this writing, she is just starting to settle in and is very excited to be there. She has been looking forward to this for a long time!

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