What We Teach

I’m afraid that I’ve been teaching hate. Yes, I confess, it’s true . . . it seems I’ve passed on my hate of yard work to my two boys.

You probably think that this is due to the fact that we live in Houston, where the temperature can get into the triple digits . . . along with the humidity. But it really isn’t. I’ve had a long hate — since my days in a small East Texas town growing up. No, it’s been my attitude. Never really liked it. So, I grouse when I have to do it.

So, guess who has picked this up? Yep, my boys. And, I’m to blame.

As I was sweating away with the gas trimmer this weekend, I wondered how I could have done better. I thought about the things that yard work teaches. Are their life lessons to be had here?

Here’s where I ended up . . .

Give thanks
I have a house that has a yard. I must give thanks for the roof over my head and the yard around it. I must give thanks that I have a yard in which to work and the time to work in it. God has given me a lot. I should thank God everyday for it.

Job Well Done
When all is done, I can look out with pride and see the success of my work. The lines look crisp, the grass is nicely trimmed, the edges look clean, driveway is swept, and the plants are all watered. Like God at the end of creation, I can sit back and see that it is good.

My Health
Granted, it is hard to be safe and healthy in 100+ degree temps. Sometimes, it really isn’t a safe thing to work in the midday heat. But, if I do get out and work in the yard, I burn calories — and lots of them. Trust me, if given the choice, I’d relax on the couch with snacks and a a beverage. But, working in the yard makes me move and sweat . . . and sweat I do!

Peace of Mind
Like exercise, I find that it clears my mind a bit. I’ve worked through some hard conversations by exercising or mowing the lawn. I can let my whole week get the best of me unless I have time to process it in my mind. This is a way I do it.

Now it’s doubtful that my boys will recover their love of yard work. It’s too late for them, I’m afraid. But, maybe they will come to the realization at middle age that I have — that it ain’t all bad.

Does yard work help you?

– Matthew Robinson

Published by Matt

Creative Arts developer, planner, husband, and father. I direct choirs, make graphic art, and film, photograph and work daily to foster an experience with the Holy.

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