Reflections on a Mower
Last week I purchased a new lawn mower. I decided that it would help if I “practiced what I preach” so I purchased an electric model. I liked the idea that an electric mower emitted no carbon, something gas-powered mowers are notorious for. On Monday the new mower arrived and I assembled it. I plugged the Energy Star charger in and looked forward to mowing on Tuesday. When the mower started right up with the push of a button I was elated. I was thrilled with the way the mower handled. Although it is not self-propelled it is light and easy to use. All was going well until forty-five minutes later the mower stopped. I had used up all of its energy and still had a third of the yard still to mow. I wasn’t a happy camper.
I found it very disappointing that the battery on my new electric mower would not allow me to mow the entire yard at one time. Nor did it help when I learned that it takes a very long time for the same battery to recharge. It became quickly apparent that mowing my yard would now always be a two day affair. I must confess that I had thoughts about packing the mower up and shipping it back. But then I remembered the reason I had purchased the mower in the first place. With this new mower I would no longer be adding pollution to the atmosphere. So I had to make a choice. Would I continue to use a mower that generated pollution but enabled me to mow my yard at one time, or would I endure the inconvenience of having to mow two days in a row (weather permitting) and not pollute the air? I chose the latter option. In the end I had to conclude that though the electric mower did create an inconvenience for me it was worth it in the end if it helped God’s Creation.
As I have reflected on this further it has made me realize that one of the reasons we find the world in the mess it is relates to the fact that we don’t like being inconvenienced. God’s Creation often suffers because we are not willing to make sacrifices that will be beneficial to the earth. This can be true when we are choosing what vehicle to drive (or if we will drive at all), whether we recycle, or what foods we will purchase. In many of the decisions we make we really don’t stop to ask, how will this affect the earth?
I would argue that the earth is worth making sacrifices for and Scripture certainly backs this claim. One of the most familiar passages in the Bible says “For God so loved the world He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) Yes, God loved the world (not just humans) so much that He made the ultimate sacrifice—He gave His only Son. If God loved the world enough to make that kind of sacrifice, surely we ought to love it enough to make some sacrifices as well.
We tend to be willing to make sacrifices for those we love most. Parents make incredible sacrifices for their children. Soldiers make great sacrifices for their country. Friends often make noble sacrifices for one another. Our failure to make more sacrifices for the environment leads me to believe that most of us do not love the earth as we should. For Christians who know of God’s indescribable love for the world, this is inexcusable. It is time we sought to love the world as God loves it—which means being willing to make some sacrifices for its welfare. I will try to remember that every time I mow…
(I took the top two images last August in lavendar fields on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington. The bottom image is my new mower.)