Cleaning up the yard

Cleaning up the yard

I enjoy movies even though I don't watch them a lot. I nearly always find something interesting to think about when I watch one. On the plane from Sydney to Hong Kong I watched 'The curious case of Benjamin Button'. During the movie Benjamin comes through the yard and sees the gardner racking up leafs in the Autumn. Benjamin flicks out to him

"Why do you bother cleaning up the yard, it's just going to be there tomorrow"

I got thinking about life and why I bother trying to clean it up and put things right. I know that I'm a fool and will make mistakes every day of my life. I know that there will never be a day that I don't mess up in some way so why do I bother trying to put it right when it's only going to get messed up again tomorrow?

Life is wonderful and messy. A friend of mine once described sex like that. I figure is applies much wider to life as well as sex.

Everyday I get up and head into the the day that the Lord has made. Each and every day so clean and ready for me to do anything with. I get presented with a opportunities at every turn. Challenges that will push me and test every area of my life.

At the end of the day I look back at the mix of great and not so great choices I've made. It reminds me a bit of a kitten in a scratch box. On the whole I may be very happy with the outcome but there is usually a heap of mess all over the place. So why do i bother talking to God about it each day? What's the point when it's only going to get messy again. Why not save it till the end of the week, month, year, life?

I believe that cleaning the yard, or leaving the baggage behind as some people say, is the best way to live because it sets us free to make different choices the next time around. If I believe that because I made a certain choice last time, then I must make the same choice this time, I will be doomed to repeat my mistakes over and over. I will be limited by my past and not able to take hold of the future.

Cleaning the yard allows me to move forward without having to wade through the rubbish of yesterday. Imagine what would happen to my clean work clothes if I had to push past piles of leaves from months or even years gone by. I wouldn't be able to get very far without being tainted by the rotting mess.

I also think that if I didn't clean up the yard of my life, there will be others who won't get to experience life a fully. Beautiful green grass wouldn't grow. Children wouldn't be able to play outside. I couldn't have a BBQ outside with my friends. Animals that passed though the yard like my cat would be affected by my mess.

How could I live a life where I forced my mess onto others and not even think about it? I know that I'm not perfect and my actions affect others but I can do something about it and I choose too. I choose to say sorry sooner rather than later. I choose to seek out people who I've hurt in the past and ask them for forgiveness - sometimes they have no idea or don't think it's a big deal but I do it anyway.

I try and clean up my life every day for the sake of others. I clean it up for those I know who got messed up last time so they don't have to deal with the same mess the next time. I clean up the yard for those I've never meet so they don't have to deal with my mess when they first meet me. I also clean up the yard because there are so many other fantastic things just waiting to grow and be enjoyed by others.

I'm not fantastic at cleaning but I think it's important all the same.

10 comments (Add your own)

1. Erika wrote:
I've left off commenting a little bit because it's one of those that mean that having read it, I have a responsibility to consider what these things mean and how I need to invest in change. This is my second surface read, and I'm going to come back tomorrow and read it better and think wiser and maybe write about it. Oh the journeys we take into our own hearts and how they change us!

And this I think sums up part of why we need to clean up the yard:

"There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls.
~ Howard Thurman

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