Posted in Family, forgiveness, gratitude, Integrity, life, love, loving others, priorities, Scripture, sovereignty of God, thankful

A Tale of Two Lawn Mowers

Our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.” 1 John 3:18

It was time to buy a mower.  Recently my son-in-law and daughter moved back into the area.  That meant that once again our family circle was close together again.  He had been in the Army and had been assigned twice eleven hours away (Savanah, Georgia and Lawton, Oklahoma) and once for a couple of years in Korea. Trust me…that was a lot more than eleven hours.  But happily, the tribe can finally get together occasionally.  They rented a house in Paducah, Kentucky…a house with a pretty good-sized yard.  However, since they lived “on post” at his last assignment, they didn’t have a lawnmower.  They thought about buying a goat (smile) but Judy and I offered to give them our mower and I would go and get another one.

My mower was my friend.  We had been together for about ten years, and it was still in great shape.  It was a solid brand; commercial grade mower and we made a great team.  Honestly, I really hated to part with it, but it felt good to be a little generous.  So, I began the search for a replacement. I researched and asked around to try and make a good decision.  A friend of mine used to own a small engine shop and dealership, so he was my go-to person.  His advice was to buy a good one with a dependable engine…like a Briggs and Stratton. So, after a long search I settled on a big name, expensive, brand…a Honda…with the hopes it would take me well into the future.

During my chase for a new mower, I discovered that in these COVID days, the semi-local big box store (or just about any store for that matter) didn’t carry much stock.  That meant I had to order it and the nice FedEx man would deliver it to my house.  After ordering, I waited several days for it to come and finally the day arrived.  FedEx usually leaves my packages at the front door and because this was going to be a big one, I left a nice big note on the front door that said, “Please leave package at back door.”  He apparently didn’t see the note and deposited the lawn mower on my front porch.

Well, upon examination I discovered that part of the handle had broken through the box and was sticking out.  I knew that couldn’t be good.  I opened the box and discovered that the handle was bent and one of the front wheels was too.  Bummer.  Well, to make a long story short that meant I had to haul the mower to the big box store (and it was not going to fit in my car) and reorder another one.  I told my grass to stop growing because of the delay and it said, “No.” Well, now I was in a pickle. I went to “Plan B.”

“Plan B” went like this. Another big box store had a lesser brand (but with the required good engine) and it was half the price.  Smile.  Then I discovered it was an additional ninety dollars off.  Big smile.  So, the very expensive damaged mower, which by the way was very poorly packaged, went back and the cheaper, lesser brand came to live with me.  Imagine my surprise when I opened the lesser brand and discovered the company (here in the USA, by the way) had built a wooden frame around the mower to protect it.  Not surprisingly…it was in perfect condition.  So, the expensive mower was left to bang around in its cardboard box and the lesser brand (that cost a whole lot less) came in a wood reenforced cardboard box.  Some things just don’t make sense.

Well, only time will tell the end of this story.  I used the new lesser brand the other day and it did very well.  Smile.  Regardless of its “lesser” name, I expect for the foreseeable future my grass will be shorter and that is what matters. In this case the quality of the packaging and the price trumped the better branded mower.  One package said, “We care about you and our product, and one said, “Oops and good luck.”

You see, the packaging, in this case was as important as the product.  It is true in lawn mowers, and it is true in life. It matters how people perceive who we are. If we want people to think a certain way about us…we must live that certain way. A guy named John who was a disciple of Jesus wrote and said, “Our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.” Yup…actions matter more than words…and never is that truer than in our Jesus walk.

It has been said people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.  In a world that is way short on love and kindness, we need to put it right out there so there is no question that we care.  Our packaging really does matter. So, I’ll let you know how the mower thing plays out.  Regardless, I know this.  The lesser brand sent me, the consumer, a message—we care about you, and we care about our product.  God’s got a message for us too.  It simply says, “I’ve got this.”  Bro. Dewayne