God’s goodness is evident on so many levels. And when we have those near-miss moments (like my epic fail) we are reminded of just how good our Father is! There is some humor in my failure. I am not offended if you smile because I survived and God is good! However, there is another side to this. My epic fail was a single incident. But the real story is in the follow-up. It’s a story of Epic Goodness!
The Fail – Routine Yard Work
There is a reason we call them accidents. I have uttered that line countless times. You’d expect that of someone who has raised five children! I heard that line when I got back into the house after my accident. My fail looked something like this:
Now, let me add the details. My mower wasn’t as new as the one in the clip. We bought it several years ago from a man who rebuilds mowers. It has adequately met our needs. Furthermore, I was not in our yard. I had finished the yard and was mowing the sides of the road in front of our house. I had mowed both roadsides above the house. Then I went down the hill, turned around and was coming back up toward our house. The next task was to put the mower up.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the garage. I thought I’d stop at the mailbox. No prob! I’ve done that many times in this same routine. But this time… That stop requires shifting to a lower gear. Again, no prob! UNLESS you happen to push the shifter a bit too far. Neutral and hills are a BIG problem!!!
I was suddenly traveling backwards and picking up speed! But a potential solution (and other things!) flashed through my mind:
If I turn the wheel just a little that will point the back of the mower UP the hill and I can get this under control.
Not so fast, Sherlock! Well, too fast was the problem. I turned the wheel. That turned the scene into the right side of the cover image (almost). The difference was, I was on the ground beside the mower in the middle of the road! Can you say, Road-rash?
It seems full disclosure is in order. If this was your story and you were OK I would be laughing like crazy! And that statement will come back around.
I was shocked, dazed, stunned – several terms are probably appropriate. I was glad the safety features of an old mower still worked. My being thrown from the seat had killed the engine – and the turning blades! As I was trying to get off the pavement I was painfully aware I was in a road ‘under’ a hill. I had visions of someone coming over that hill and not being able to see a hapless homeowner and his wrecked lawnmower.
I moved a good bit faster than one might think I could. But my thinking didn’t keep pace with my movements. I grabbed the mower and pushed it upright (i.e., on all four wheels). Remember why I thought to turn the steering wheel? Do you remember that neutral gear? The mower was ‘pointed’ down the hill. It took off again!
I had lost one shoe in the mishap but I was doing my best to keep up with a runaway mower! It was headed toward the bluff side of the road. And I knew I’d never get it back up from that drop off. My last move was to grab the steering wheel and yank it to the left. The mower crashed into the ditch on the high side of the road. If I had put a little yellow marker by every piece of the mower it would have looked like a crime scene!
The adrenaline subsided with the crash. And that left a somewhat painful walk back to my other shoe and then on up to the house. God’s goodness comes in the form of friends. A friend came to help get the mower from the ditch and drag it up the road and up the driveway. God is good!
And praising God for His goodness is always in order. My ‘big task’ for this particular Saturday was sermon preparation. I had taken a break from that in order to cut the grass. But my break had underscored two things:
- The uncertainty of the next moment in time
- God’s goodness and protection
So, I began our worship service Sunday morning by giving thanks for the Lord’s blessing of protection. And I gave a very brief explanation as to why I wanted to start there. It was personal but it was also Scriptural. Notice these references:
- Psalm 107:1
- I Thessalonians 5:18
- Colossians 4:2
- Psalm 100:4
- Psalm 92:1-5
And when the service concluded, another friend asked about the condition of the mower. I didn’t know this gentleman had experience working on mowers. My assessment was: I need another second-hand mower. He asked if it would be OK if he came by to look at it and form his own opinion. He did that. And thanks to him, the mower is running! God is good!
Goodness In His Word
The best part of this story – so far – has been saved for last. Like many of you, I have a Bible reading plan. But on this particular Saturday, I noticed I was several days ahead in my reading plan. And if sermons are prepared well, they are first applied to the preacher before they are applied to others. I knew I would spend most of the day studying the Word. So I skipped the planned readings for Saturday.
So, do your best to put yourself into my Epic Fail. Then imagine how you’d react when you got back to your reading plan and realized Psalm 121:1-8 was in store for you on the day of your Epic Fail (God is Good!):
I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever.
Soli Deo Gloria!
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