I know I write a lot about mowing, but hey!, it's what I spend the large majority of my day doing! But even in the seemingly mundane times of life--I mean, just how exciting can going around and around or back and forth, back and forth, be--I love how God will just interject Himself into my thoughts and mind's eye.
Sometimes I think that it's pretty lame that I could walk you through 40 lawns in our area and show you every bunny nest, every ground hog hole, and every partially exposed pipe on all 40 properties. ( I just wish I could show you the location of all of Jetta's balls (the ball loving dog of one of our customers). I definitely will owe her a boat load of tennis balls by the end of the year. Man those things really fly if they come out of the mower shoot just right! I almost beaned our employee one day and he was at least 50 feet away!
I remember when we dairy farmed, we milked 120 cows twice a day. The group was basically the same, except for the shifting in and out between the dry cows and those that had just freshened, but over a period of a year, I was able to identify every single cow, and call them by name, just by looking at their udder. Not their registered name, like Nappa's Champion Pride of Comstock, mind you, but their nickname, which is what we called them on the farm. Names like Valerie, Ginger, Meda, Flo and Alice. And I could look at 120 cows in a field and tell you who was who. Now THAT'S amazing!
Did I mention that I have a goat named after me?
Anyway...back on track here! When I mow I take several things into consideration.
Firstly, safety. We live in a mountainous area, so flat yards are practically non-existent. And one thing building contractors never take into consideration when designing and landscaping a new property is the fact that some poor fool is going to have to mow it. Hopefully without killing himself! We have a few of those. One in particular makes me want to don a WW2 Japanese fighter pilot hat and scream BANZAI while I defy gravity to mow it.
Secondly, aesthetics. Most of our accounts are very upscale properties, which they pay us a lot of money to care for, so as much as I can, I work to leave a symmetrical, neat and eye-pleasing pattern in the grass. Diagonals are the best. There are a few tricks to this. In making a straight pass, you must never look at the grass. You have to pick an object in the distance and drive right for it. When you turn around and look at the end of the row, there is a perfectly straight line behind you. Then it's easy to turn around and follow the edge back the other way, knowing that you are perfectly in line.
Note to self: Make sure you focus on a stationary item, not a cloud, a vehicle or the neighbor's dog!
Occasionally, little by little, my lines will somehow get a little crooked and I have to re-adjust them by starting out with a full row and gradually edging over into the previously mowed row to straighten it out. I hate having to do this because I hate mowing over grass that is already mowed! I'm practical that way! It's a waste of time and gas! I try to take as few of these detours as possible!
Life with God is a lot like this. God leads us. He wants us to look ahead and drive right for Him. And after a little while, if we take time to look back, we will find a straight and narrow path path behind us. Sometimes it feels like we are taking unnecessary detours, but as we look back over what the Lord lead us through, we will come to see how it was part of His perfect plan to leave a beautiful pattern for us and others to enjoy. And He is glorified! God is intentional in everything He does! If anyone knows that time is short and cannot be wasted on bunny trails and detours, He knows.
Sometimes I feel like God must be leading me on a 100 mile detour. (feelings are so fickle!) But when I stop to look back, I can see that it was really just a little pattern correction. It's funny how our perspective can be so different than His. I'm sure it makes Him laugh!