Be a Doer

by DanWolgemuth on July 17, 2009

My father was not a man that bagged his lawn clippings.

This thought raced through my head yesterday as I walked behind my own mower.  I had spent significant time walking behind a mower at 103 East Park in Wheaton, Illinois where my father was the “foreman” of the job.

Sam had grown up on a farm.  Function trumped aesthetics by a long shot.  To that end, a lawn provided a platform for living, playing and thriving.  It was not for show or status.

Make no mistake, Sam’s lawn looked nice; right down to the well trimmed bushes… but there was purpose in the activity.  What we did, we did for the sake of utility.  A nice yard gave us the opportunity to play catch, or to host the local whiffleball game, or to be home base for an evening, mosquito-infested round of “kick the can.”  I learned at an early age that you take care of things so that they can serve you more effectively, so that they last longer, and so you can extend their purpose.

A well manicured lawn can become a showpiece and not a playground.  It can reject instead of invite.  Sam understood that… and he did his best to instill it in me.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. ~ James 1:22

At the core this informed his theology.  Results, relationships, and restoration far exceeded prestige and prominence.  Sam celebrated “doers of the Word.”   He knew and respected movers and shakers, but he honored those that sacrificed.  He shook the hands of dignitaries, but he washed the feet of disciples.  He lauded the formidable, but he loved the missionary.  He cheered for the superstar, but he wept for those on the front lines.

No… you didn’t find a bag on the back of Sam’s mower.  It simply wasn’t worth the extra investment of time when there was so much else to do.

Function before form.

No veneer, no flash, no pretense… just purpose.

A lesson that still permeates my soul.

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