Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Leave it to God

In late March I planted grass seed in some of the bare spots of my backyard. I never planted grass seed before so I was willing to try anything that wasn't too expensive. I bought a couple bags of grass seed mixed with fertilizer, a couple of giant carpet things that you supposedly just roll out to grow grass, some top soil, and some peat moss. After I got all that stuff down I realized I didn't have enough to cover all the bare areas (yes, my backyard is that bad) so I went back to the store and bought just a plain old bag of "sun/shade mix" grass seed.

Well wouldn't you know by the next day the temperatures were falling below freezing again, which prevented me from watering the way I was supposed to. (The instructions of every type of seed thing I bought all emphasized the importance of watering several times daily.) Then a week later my family went away on vacation for seven days so it wouldn't get watered at all. I figured the whole thing was ruined... a waste of about $70.

Now, after a month I'm proud to report that I have grass. I take no credit for this good news. Despite my bumbling and ignorance I have grass. However, I do feel a little wiser when it comes to whole planting grass game. That seed-fertilizer mix stuff is not great. Where I used that stuff the grass is growing thinly... like a 35 year-old a few years away from complete baldness. The green carpet stuff is worthless. Enough said. But the places where I planted just straight seed are looking plush and oh so green.

Jesus' parable about the farmer sowing seed on different types of soil is one of my favorites in the Gospels. I cannot even look at a bag of salted sunflower seeds without thinking of that parable. Imagine what I was thinking when I actually was sowing grass seed. What I take from Jesus' story I also take from the whole grass seed growing experience. Just throw the seeds and let God do the rest. Carpet gimmicks or an over abundance of fertilizer just cloud the issue. Seed, soil, water, and sun are the essentials. And even if I go a week without watering, God can still make life happen.

As a disciple for Christ I share God's Word with others. No need for gimmicks or tricks. Just God's Word and little care are all that is necessary. God will do the rest. My bumbling and ignorance cannot prevent God from doing his stuff. So I'll do the best I can.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Ahhhh... Opening Day

It's so great that Opening Day of the baseball season falls on my day off. I managed to watch most of the Indians/Sox game this afternoon with Grant and Preston. Preston seemed more interested than Grant. Grant doesn't like fireworks at ballgames so he wasn't too thrilled to hear that the White Sox invented fireworks at ballgames. I also got to watch portions of the Twins/Orioles and now the Rangers/Angels game. What a great day. I barely noticed it was nice outside.

Former Tigers announcer, Hall-of-famer, Ernie Harwell used to begin the first radio broadcast of the Tigers season with a famous reading for any baseball fan in Michigan.

For the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone;

The flowers appear on the earth;

The time of the song of the birds has come,

And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.

The quote is Song of Solomon 2:11-12 and was Ernie's way of expressing the movement of time and constancy of God's presence. Every year the winter passes and for us in the Midwest. The melting snow and the first 60 degree days remind us that life moves on and there is always hope as we look ahead. For Harwell, and for me, baseball is as much a reminder of that hope as the flowers, the birds, and that wonderful "voice of the turtle." Just look at today for example: There is hope for the Royals and Brewers who are now 1-0. There is hope for the Indians who blasted the Sox. There is even hope for the Cubs, after all they are only one game out of first.

There is hope! No matter where we have been there is hope. Family, friends, the coming of spring, and the clean slate of the baseball standings all remind us of that hope. It's fitting that baseball should begin as we prepare for the coming Easter feast.