You Make It Look so Easy
I have an honest question for you. Are you a manual lawnmower type or are you a self-propelled kind of person?
The reason I ask is I recall a time when I watched my neighbor effortlessly mowing their yard. They weren’t on a riding lawn mower, it was a push mower. But as I watched them mow, I couldn’t help but wonder why I was struggling so much to get mine mowed. They made it look SO easy. And in my stubbornness, I was determined to show them I could do it too. Plus, I needed the extra exercise, I always said.
This was before I discovered the ease of the “self-propelled” mower.
Actually, I didn’t fully understand the self-propelled mower until after I brought home the battery-powered one. My husband was out of town working and our old mower bit the dust. I was so excited to get the yard all nice before he came home, but it just wouldn’t start. So as I browsed the isles of my local big box store, I laid my eyes on the battery-operated mower.
At least I thought this was a brilliant idea. The thought of no more pulling or tugging (praying or kicking) to get the mower started. I would simply hit a button and be in business!
Anxious to get started, I packed it up and headed home. A few snaps here, a twist and turn there, and the mower was ready to go! I quickly started, got about a fourth of the way though our yard and it died.
It was the battery . . . deader than a doornail.
In goes the second battery. I went faster this time, made a few shortcuts across the taller section of grass, then it died again. The yard looked hideous. I now had two non-working mowers. And I was feeling a bit defeated.
To add insult to injury, my husband comes home, walks over to the old one . . . jiggles some little thingy-ma-bobber and the silly thing starts right up. And want to guess who finished the yard after working extremely long shifts and being on the road for more than five hours? It wasn’t me!
So this time I consulted him. We returned the battery-powered mower and found a self-propelled one. It cost more than your traditional mower, but my husband convinced me it was worth it.
I honestly don’t know why I never listened to others before about this kind of mower. It was wonderful! One or two good tugs and it easily started. Then one quick pull of a lever and the wheels glide you along your chosen path.
Yes, it still took a little effort to guide, but the machine did most of the work. I still ended up with my usual blister on the inside of my thumb, but my body wasn’t protesting when it was all said and done. I had plenty of energy left to edge and fertilize.
As I was taking care of the yard, it quickly became apparent to me when I would forget to pull the handle to activate the self-propelled feature. I would round a corner, let up on it so I could back it up and it wouldn’t take off on me. As a result, I quickly realized my own effort was being used to push.
Again, one quick pull of the handle proved how much easier it was to navigate. All I have to do is allow the machine to do its job. It’s much less frustrating and exhausting. Moreover, the job is done quicker.
As I dusted off the mower to ready it for a new season, I began to realize how much this is like our marriage. (Yes, I’m comparing my marriage to a lawnmower, but hear me out!)
People have often told us how “easy” we make marriage look. They want to know how our marriage is so effortless, especially being a law enforcement family. And we’ve heard in the past how others wish they could have a marriage like ours.
So can I share our secret?
It’s really not a secret at all. You CAN have a marriage like ours. And the only real difference in us is we have a “self-propelling” mechanism we tap into. We still have to exert time, effort and energy into our marriage, but with this “secret weapon” of sorts, the reason it looks so much easier is because there is Someone greater than us doing much of the hard work. Someone who doesn’t give out and quit halfway through or when you need Him most.
And that Someone is Jesus.
You see, He is always working behind the scenes on our behalf. And we both know when we are operating outside of His plan or without His involvement in our lives. We recognize it because we see how much additional effort it takes to navigate everyday life. It doesn’t mean that we go on autopilot and never have to work at anything. No! In fact, that’s quite contrary.
We still have arguments, disagreements, and “Come to Jesus” meetings . . . but with His help, we are able to guide those times with much less strife. Not only that, but He teaches us through those struggles.
So the next time, when it happens again, we are much quicker to tap into His resources to solve the challenges that come our way.
Please don’t get me wrong. Having Jesus in your heart doesn’t mean your life will automatically be smooth sailing. Nor will it mean you won’t ever have to worry about “tough times.” But rather having Jesus in your heart does means you have an extra Advocate to fight for you, and fight with you in these battles, and it means you will never have to do this police life alone.
So as people continue to ask us how we make our marriage look so effortless; as people wonder what it is that is so different about us; we can share with a smile on our face, “It’s Jesus! He makes the difference.” The difference between fighting an uphill battle with manual effort, or similar to pulling a lever and letting someone else do the bulk of the hard work for you. It really is that simple.
A “Jesus help” kind of simple.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
– Matthew 11:28-30
He loves you, He cares about you, and He wants nothing more than to have a relationship (not religion) with YOU. Coming from someone who was self-sufficient for way to long, trust me when I say, it will be one of the best things you can do and you won’t regret it.
– Melinda Merritt