Lessons from a Leafblower – Part Two

It was time to clean up the neighbor’s leaves from our yard again. One neighbor’s trees are pine, so we had needles and seedlings; one neighbor has oleanders that are dropping their pretty red and pink petals; our third neighbor has a giant tree that manufactures pollen. I’m sneezing just thinking about it. So, needless to say, the backyard was a mess. It was going to be a bigger, longer job than the last time for sure. I was thinking of ways to get out of it. Ask the children? Ask the husband? Ugh. Who was I kidding? I wasn’t getting out of this chore. I procrastinated with indoor chores instead. It was approaching 95 degrees outside, or had I forgotten to mention that? I even went so far as to clean our windows. THAT’S how much I did not want to do another round of leaf-blowing.

So, I prevailed in my procrastination. The day came and went. I wasn’t feeling good the next morning, so I had yet another excuse to not do my chore. I was outside on my swing lamenting, though. I was sitting on leaves and looking at the messy yard. After several minutes, I noticed dark clouds on the horizon. Then I heard thunder. Then I saw lightning. Not very typical for a May evening in Las Vegas. About 15 minutes later, we were experiencing a full-blown thunderstorm. Rain is kind of a novelty here, so we like to open the doors and watch and listen. But after just a couple of minutes, the water was pouring into the house, so we had to close the doors. It poured for about half an hour. I was thinking, “Oh good, the rain and wind will clean off some of the leaves.” Um. Nope. Instead, that short storm created an even bigger mess. Piles of pine needles on the side of the house and seedlings and flowers on every square inch. Pretty sure you couldn’t tell our yard from the yards that actually had the trees IN them.

However, I’d never been so happy about procrastinating! I was thinking of all the work I would’ve done for nothing. I wasn’t excited about the prospect of cleaning up the larger mess, but I just kept thinking about how frustrated I would’ve been had I spent time cleaning only to have a bigger mess cover it all up the very next day. Before I even got outside to start with the clean-up, I heard my husband with the leafblower and later filled two garbage bags full of pine needles and blew off most of the backyard. All I had to do was about five minutes’ worth of work to tidy up my swing area! It was glorious.

So, lesson 2 from the leafblower? Sometimes our messes are so big, they require asking for help. I needed help and I just didn’t want to ask. God graciously sent help anyway in His usual fashion, a heavier and worse storm, but in the end, the load was lighter because I had help. We are too often praised for being self-sufficient when God really wants us to be other-sufficient. We cannot do this life alone, and we certainly cannot make it through the storms of life without help. God most often sends His help through the help of others. He is anxiously awaiting us to ask. Every so often, God reminds me of the power of my favorite verse, Jeremiah 33:3:

“Call to me and I will answer you, and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

Such a powerful promise! All we have to do is ask. Call to Him. Insert your name at the very beginning of the verse, then say it slowly.

Great and unsearchable things await!

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