Saturday is a great day for a family barbeque. Saturday is also my day for outside chores: mowing lawns, trimming and pruning the plants, cleaning the garage, and I get great satisfaction in seeing the fruits of my labor when I am done working. Manning the family barbeque on a Saturday afternoon gives me the chance to view my back yard kingdom at its finest moment of the week, and to reflect on how lucky I am.
It was the time during the dinner preparation when I was alone by my BBQ; the family was inside putting the finishing touches on the on the table setting and side dishes, and the meat needed a couple more minutes on the grill. I was inwardly and outwardly smiling while I surveyed the yard. The pool was clean; from my vantage point the water appeared a deep turquoise blue, the waterfall and spa, surrounded by palm trees, bird of paradise, and lilacs look like a scene from a Hawaiian post card. To my right are more palm trees and ferns, overgrowing the ceramic pots they live in, nestled under the branches of an apple tree. The green lawn is a living contrast to the pebbled concrete separating it from the pool. I like my yard; I am at peace here.
The importance of the beauty overwhelms the reality of the flaw.
As with many things (people, places, circumstances) we often see the beauty of the moment, the clean, pure, crisp vision of perfection that we desire it to be, and purposely overlook any flaws that may exist. The importance of the beauty overwhelms the reality of the flaw. The big picture, the view from 30,000 feet is beautiful, perfect, ever pleasing to the eye; so why bother noticing the imperfection that lingers in the shadows behind the waterfall, or at the bottom of the pool? Only the beauty is relevant to the scene.
The ceramic pots in my yard are crooked, tilting in opposite directions and nowhere near level to the ground. I think they were level when I placed them, I don’t remember now, and I’ve no idea how they became so out of balance. Yet the plants they hold are vibrant and growing. The pool needs water; it is about one inch low. Nature pulls the water from the pool into the atmosphere, so refilling is a weekly chore. My stainless steel BBQ is dirty; smudged with fingerprints and misplaced sauce. When I look at my yard I know the pots are crooked and there is dirt where it doesn’t belong, but I don’t let those minor irritations spoil the beauty of the moment.
I sometimes struggle with the notion that God doesn’t see our sin; that He blocks it from His vision and only sees the good in us. Sitting in my back yard I finally realized that God looks at me, like I look at my yard. God doesn’t care that my pots need to be leveled or my pool needs water. Of course, God wants us to have a perfect yard, and He will give us every tool we need to mow, trim and clean our yard. God has tools that we have never dreamed of; things they don’t even have on HGTV. Yet for all the issues in my yard, He will love me the same if the pool gets green with algae, or it I fill it to the right level and perfectly maintain the cleanliness of the water. God loves me exactly where I am at this moment, wherever and whenever that is. So I will do my very best to keep my yard in pristine shape, but I won’t kick myself if something gets out of place. I’ll just put it back into the proper place as quickly as I can; because I know that the true owner of my life loves me, and my backyard, even when it’s not perfect.
Thanks for reading.
Nicely said Mike, and good analogy. God does care about our imperfections, but doesn’t require us to be perfect. He will prod us when it’s time to finally clean up one of our imperfections, in the same way when you are tired of looking at a pot that needs to be level and you take the time to fix it.