When I was attending Liberty University, I picked up a job doing landscaping. It was hard work and long hours. Slinging mulch, planting flowers, trimming shrubs, and cutting grass. The only thing I really enjoyed doing was cutting grass. Well, one part of the process, anyway, there were three parts to cutting grass. Mowing, weed eating, and blowing. I loved the mowing.
We had these mowers that were 5 feet wide and had an attachment called a Velke. This was the part that we stood on. It was a little attachment that came out of the back of the mower that was basically big enough for your feet. There was a little tire in the middle that made it easy to move.
I loved the mowing not because of the mowing itself, but because of the finished product. It wasn’t even that I could look back with pride at the work I had just completed. You see, I took great pleasure in seeing the lines in the grass of the yard I had just mowed. There was something so satisfying about smelling the freshly cut grass and seeing the lines, that I would just stand and take it in for a few minutes.
When mowing a yard, there was one thing that was most important in order to get all the lines nice and straight. You had to get the first line straight. If you didn’t, by the time you were done mowing, the lines were so far from straight that it was tempting to start again. There was a “trick” to getting the first line straight. It was easy. If you did this every time you cut the first line, the rest of the lines would be straight, barring a catastrophe. You ready? Here it is. Focus on the end of the line. That’s it! Pick a point at the other end of the yard from where you were starting that you could focus on and keep your eyes locked on that point the entire time you were making that first pass. Whatever happens in the rest of the yard is based on that first line. Sure, there were bumps and holes and sometimes even trash along the way that you had to slow down for, avoid, or even get off the mower to remove, but once you got back on the mower, you fixed your eyes on the point you had chosen and got back to mowing.
Hop off the mower for a second and let me ask you, what’s your point? What are you focused on in this life? Have you chosen your point at the “other end of the yard”? Is your focus on making lots of money, having the best of everything, that new car, etc., or is it on the prize when you cross the finish line? The Bible tells us in II Corinthians 4:18 that we are to “fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” When we fix our eyes on what is unseen, the eternal, the prize, it does not mean that we are not aware of what is happening in the “seen”. Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. said that “some people are so heavenly minded that they are not earthly good”. We want to keep our eyes fixed on the point at the end of the line, but we also need to realize that there is a journey we need to take from where we are to where we are going. There will be bumps and holes and sometimes trash along the way that we need to stop and deal with, but we cannot allow these things to affect our focus after we have dealt with them. The Word tells us in John 16:33 that in this world we will have trouble, but we need to take heart, because He has overcome the world. If our focus, our mindset, our eyes are fixed on the prize before us, the things of this world will not deter us from the mission, our purpose, for why God put us on this earth.
Let me encourage you, church. Decide today, if you have not already, on your “point”. Keep your eyes, your focus, on that point. You only get one chance to make that first line. What you do with that line affects every other line that comes after it. When I get to the “other end of the yard” and the mowing is finished, just like I did on that mower, I want to be able to look back, take a deep breath, and take it all in knowing that I did my best to focus on Him, the prize, and what He wanted to accomplish in and through me.
Love you, church! Praying for you today. Can’t wait to see you on Sunday!
Pastor Tim Fus
Pastor of Worship Ministries