Hearing Voices from the Lawn Mower

Lay Servant Ministries


It’s my turn to share again. What do I have to say? Each time I contemplate this I struggle for a topic. I spend time alone waiting for inspiration. And somehow something comes to mind. This time it came to me during a chore…

It’s summer again. Hours are spent each week mowing the grass. Seems like I mow half the town from my local church to my dad’s property to my own lots. Lots of time to let your mind wander—to contemplate. After all, as long as you don’t mow a stump, it’s just back and forth.

It occurred to me that mowing the lawn is a lot like seeking God’s word. (Follow me through the thought. Both are work, but they don’t need to be chores.) Many years ago, I was advised to mow my yard a different direction each time—side to side, front to back, diagonally. This allows for more even cut, and if the grass is thick, you don’t have the clumps in the same place each time. Aside from that, just keep a straight path.

Study of the Word is follows this same logic. We are often admonished to be in continual prayer, to read our Bible often. (This is that weekly task like the lawn mower.) Yes, I know reading God’s word should not be a chore, but you have to admit that some passages can be pretty challenging. But my point is that each time you read it, you may be seeking an answer to a different question, and as such, you may get a different message from the same passage. You read it side to side, front to back and diagonally as needed.
Sometimes a Sunday sermon helps with this. Sometimes it is the Sunday School or Bible Study lesson. Sometimes it comes in the absence of those voices. After all volume does not necessarily equate with importance.

Recently, we read from I Kings 19: “Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains…but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake… a fire… and after the fire a sound of sheer silence….and after the fire a sound of sheer silence.” 

As Lay Servants, maybe our ministry is in caring for the physical needs of our local church property. Or maybe in the physical needs of our church members. Maybe we need to sit and silently pray with someone in our community. Sometimes we need some type of instruction to refresh how we approach these ministries. Then it may be time to look for another Lay Servant class—or to lead one.

Or maybe I heard the wrong silence over the roar of the lawn mower.
Kirk Pemberton, CLSp
Topeka District  Director LSM