This spring, Karla and I have bought numerous bags of mulch. We got them on sale, loaded them in our cargo van (aka Karla’s car) and brought them home. We’ve put 45 bags of mulch (maybe more, I lost count) around our flower beds and shrubbery. All done it to make our yard look nice and clean and for the most part it has been mission accomplished.
There is a house in my neighborhood that has a sign in its front yard that reads “Got Mulch?” It is advertising for a company that does what Karla and I did for ourselves. The company puts the mulch in your flower beds and you don’t have to make four or five trips in your cargo van (aka wife’s car) to the home improvement store to accomplish this goal. I don’t know the cost of their services (maybe next year I will check them out), but I doubt that it will be cheaper than Karla & Rob’s Mulching Company
Why the mulch mumbles? The family that has the “Got Mulch?” sign in their yard, I assume like Karla and me, wanted their shrubbery and flower beds to look nice. No weeds. Just shrubs, flowers and mulch. But here’s the deal: They haven’t mowed their grass. I don’t mean that they didn’t mow their grass last week. As if they were on vacation and whoever they asked to mow their grass forgot to do it. I don’t think the yard has been mowed all year. The grass is a foot high. Maybe higher. It’s so high that you have to look through the jungle of a front yard to catch a glimpse to prove that they indeed “got mulch.” They “got mulch” but I assume they “don’t got a lawn mower” (poor grammar noted).
Which leads to my question: Why spend the money to get mulch if you aren’t mowing your yard? It’s this like the old philosophical question “if a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, does it make a sound?” If there is mulch around your bushes but no one can see it, do you really “got mulch”?
Maybe my neighbor’s mixed messages are not so unique. I see the same thing happen in people’s lives. People focus on minor things, yet ignore major problems. I’ve known folks who say that say they want to be followers of Jesus, yet spend very little time with him. Got Jesus? “Well occasionally” is not the acceptable answer. Or people that claim to live holy lives, but are angry, resentful, and bitter. Got Holiness? “If it doesn’t cause me to change, ask forgiveness or challenge my preconceived notions, then yeah I got it.” Ummm… no you don’t.
Holiness involves allowing God to look over the grassy fields of your life, and if there is anything unpleasing to Him, then it’s giving God permission to mow down any over grown or unpleasant thing. That was David’s point when he prayed in Psalm 139:23-24: Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
It’s saying “don’t let me simply spruce up my flower beds, while I ignore my lawn.” It’s praying keep all areas of my life holy and pleasing to you, not just a few areas of my life. Search my blind spots, point them out and make me the person you want me to be. That’s holiness.