Saturday, June 12, 2021

 Cut Down

The intense heat of this past week has left my lawn looking like the blotchy, scaly skin of a confused chameleon. The timing of the powerful heat and lack of rain wreaked havoc.  In addition, we were gone to Nashville during the week which left the formerly green lawn unattended and vulnerable to the deranged effects of the relentless 99 degree heat.  This has cut my pride in lawn care deeply…which was already fragile.

We don’t see these temperatures often in Minnesota.  Yet, it left me reminded of my childhood.  Not just because of the heat that I often experienced after my backside had been lit up due to my disobedient choices…but also because it seemed that the sweltering heat of summer would make the already miserable childhood house chores that much more unbearable.  As you may recall from past blogs, my dad had an affinity for planting large gardens and then employing 4 underage workers to cultivate the 2 acres of miserable vegetables. 

At one point we attempted to unionize and go on strike. With signs in hand, we began to picket and chant, “Oh no…we won’t go…we won’t weed no po-ta-to.”

The strike lasted about 2 ½ minutes when threats of having our supper withheld, led to my other 3 sibling leaving me standing alone amongst the much despised onions and peas.

Admitting defeat, I dropped my sign and went in to eat my supper…of meatballs with onions, (which I hated), boiled potatoes and peas, (which I also hated). Incidentally, I love them all now…oh how I have grown.

Each day before dad went to work, he would lay out the day’s expectations. “I need you guys to mow the lawn and weed the garden. Specifically today, you should hit the potatoes and the onions.  It would be a good idea to get it done early…it’s going to get pretty hot out there today.”

In protest, I would sit and watch Bugs Bunny cartoons until after lunch. “I’ll show him,” I thought…“Won’t he be regretful if he finds me dead of heatstroke while doing the chores.” Sadly…I lived…but barely.

As the hot days endured…my work ethic failed.  Whether from dehydration or frustration from the heat…or lack of care…or perhaps a combination of them all…I mowed over all of the newly planted pine trees, and cut down nearly all of the onions with the hoe and uprooted half of the potato plants.

One thing that I have learned when gardening…once you cut something off…it doesn’t come back, (except perhaps for grass and weeds…and warts).

We lost most of the onions that year, many potatoes were not worth harvesting and the pine trees didn’t even make a nice hedge…just flat, low evergreens about 12 inches wide.

It is harvest time in Revelation 14.  This is the chapter where everything is getting cut down…in some very gruesome ways.  This cutting is a signal for the end.  Once the cutting takes place…the time is done.  There is no recovery from the cutting.  What scares me the most of this passage, is thinking of those who continue to reject God, and the hope of Jesus Christ.  I don’t relish the day of the cutting…I have come to dread it.  When the cutting occurs, it will be too late to turn to the hope of Jesus. 

May we ALL be drawn to the hope that only comes from Jesus.  The Lord will cut down the evil…he will cut down all that is sinful and it will be burned up and consumed.  But…for those who have their hope in Jesus…they…and they alone will be saved.

May we find our hope in Christ!

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