Reflections from cutting grass and shoveling dirt

First, I need to say this is not really about missions or Bolivia or fundraising… just my thoughts from a day at work.

For those that do not know, I have spent my summer months working for a landscaping company in Brampton from Monday to Friday.  80% of my time is doing yard care… like cutting the grass, trimming the hedges and weeding the flower beds.  The rest of my time is doing other landscaping related jobs like prepping for interlock stone, shoveling dirt or even removing fallen trees.

Landscaping, while seems to run in my family, is not my preferred job.  I do enjoy being outside all day.  Even the rain days don’t bother me.  So, I decided early on that I would view my time here as an opportunity to get a work out each day (I always tried to take the harder jobs for this reason… and feel the benefits of that today).  I also decided to use this time to listen to sermons, leadership podcasts and even audio books.  This summer has been a great time of soaking my mind in great teachings and challenging thoughts.

This past Wednesday I had the joy of working on my own all day.  I say joy because I enjoy this kind of quiet time once and a while.  I also enjoyed it because I was able to listen to: “Your Move” with Andy Stanley, the last 5 chapters of “Revolution in World Mission” by KP Yohannan, The Relevant Podcast, OBC’s Sunday sermon by Paul Sadler (Missionary to Japan), “From This Day Forward – Part 1” by Craig Groeschel (pastor of LifeChurch.tv) and Episode 190 of the Cataylst podcast.  Listening to these helped me forget I was shoveling dirt for 6 hours of that day… but my body reminded me in the evening.

I will save you the sermons I could create from all that I listened to that day.

A question I have is what do you feed your mind and heart and soul with?  What are you reading or listening to that will challenge your thinking and expand your understanding and knowledge?   How are you honoring God through what you invest your thoughts in?

I know that I didn’t have to listen to this type of material this summer.  I also know that there are times I just needed to listen to music and not be challenged, but I am confident that I have grown in my walk with God and my leadership abilities this summer not because I cut grass and shoveled dirt, but because I was strategic in how I used my time.

One more thing.  I hear people grumbling about this or that.  They don’t have enough money for that over there or they hate their job because of this person or that thing.  Grumbling is easy and even natural.  I made a choice to not grumble or complain even though I probably could have.  I am not a landscaper (btw, this is not a surprise to my boss!) and it is not my job of choice, but I enjoyed it because I sought out ways to find joy in the job and I decided I would always do the best I could no matter what I was asked to do.  This summer has been a real blessing and great time of preparation for this next journey in our lives because I was intentional with each part of it.

In the end, it is God I give the glory to.  In his wisdom, he provided me with a way to earn an income over the summer and at the same time be challenged and stretched as I learned.  With the technology that is out there today, no one has an excuse to not be learning from the wide range of of sources available to each of us.

“I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.”

~ John 17:4 NIV

I am now finished my summer job.  Jen and I only have a week left with our work at Orangeville Baptist Church.  Our house is ready to be rented.  We have contacted everyone we can think of for support.  We are ready and excited for the next steps of God’s adventure for this family.

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