“All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are like grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.” – Isaiah 40:6-8
“Dad! Dad! Come quick! Come look!”
My oldest son, who was seven, came running into the house breathlessly excited. I ran outside and followed him around to the side of the house.
“It’s growing! It’s growing!” I looked and indeed, it was growing! The week before I had planted grass seed and now it was starting to come up. I have to admit, I was just as excited as my seven-year-old!
That summer I worked hard on my yard, fertilizing the lawn, spraying weed-killer, and planting grass seed in the bare spots. As I was working on my lawn and getting excited about the positive results (thanks to a lot of hard work from a member of my church – thanks Ken!) Isaiah 40 popped into my head.
Americans, especially American men, spend a lot of time on something that will, in the end, wither. It reminds me of so many men that put all their time and energy into fleeting things that will not last, and virtually ignore the things that will – like wife, children and their souls.
This hit home the other night at my son’s baseball game. I keep score for my son’s team. I’m thankful my dad taught me how to keep score! As I was sitting with the boys on the bench, calling out the line-up, a father came over to his son. I overheard him telling his son that he couldn’t stay for the game because he had to get home and cut the grass. The look on the boy’s face said it all. He was shattered. His dad wasn’t going to stay and watch him play baseball.
As a dad of three boys, I’ve seen how precious, and how little, is the time a mom or dad have with their children. It really is true that they grow up so fast! I have had to constantly remind myself that I can’t procrastinate with my kids like I do with most everything else. Like grass that is “here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire,” (Mt 5:30) children are only children for a relatively short time and then they are grown up and moving out of the house. I’ll always be dad. But they won’t always be my little boys.
I enjoy working on my lawn, especially seeing the positive results of my labor. But I enjoy infinitely more playing catch with my boys on my lawn. When I do, I build a bond with them that will outlast my lawn.
On occasion I have the rare privilege of sitting with my wife and boys during worship. Because my wife and I have shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with our boys, we will have more than just this lifetime to enjoy with our boys. We will have an eternity in heaven with them because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
I bet there will be a pretty decent lawn there, too!
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