A few weeks ago, we had a mission building team come from Melbourne to help our base. The team had a lot of familiar faces from last year and a few new ones. One of the new ones was a man named Adrian. Adrian is a landscaper. He has his own company and lots of experience, and one of the other team members, Scott, was his apprentice. Adrian wanted to do landscaping and to really serve our base with his particular skills.
A few weeks later, our backyard has been transformed. I don’t even know how to explain what it feels like to be given such a blessing – one you weren’t looking for or asking for or even aware would be so awesome.
Last October, as our base was preparing for its 20th birthday celebration, our backyard became a dumping ground. It was like that secret closet that you hide all the stuff that “doesn’t have a place.” You would be mortified if anyone saw inside your secret closet! It sort of made me think of the secret closet on Friends. Any Friends fans out there?
Anyways, we cleaned it up a few months later, and it seemed so satisfying to have gotten all the junk out. It was empty, the grass was mowed…it was nice. Except, a closet, even after you clean out the mess, still is a closet. It has a purpose; it’s meant to be used and provide storage.
I wanted to do something more back there, but I had no clue where or how to get started!
Enter Melbourne Mission Building Team.
It’s absolutely amazing what a week can do! Our entire backyard was transformed. He had a vision, and he got us started. He laid a brick path – a sturdy, never going anywhere, beautiful brick path. He planted trees and bushes and plants. He built a pergola. Our backyard is so different, and I feel grateful, blessed, astounded. Not only did he give us this massive blessing of a gorgeous backyard, but he gave me the blessing of getting started!
Before he left, he gave me instructions about watering. The plants and trees needed a good 30 min spray per day for the first 4-5 days, and then a few times a week after that. No problem. The areas with new grass seed needed to be water 5-6 times a day for the first 3 days and then sporadically after that to keep it moist.
I put on my gum boots multiple times a day for that first weekend. I’d wake up and do it first thing, during morning tea, lunch, afternoon, dinner, night time – jumping around to make the light come on so I could see. I kept watering what looked just like mud with a bunch of grain on it.
How long would it be before I saw any indication that something was happening with this grass?
Then one day, I was walking to my house from the office, and I saw our base director kneeling down on the brick path with his face about 6 inches from the muddy, soon-to-be-grass area. “Hey Stevo – what are you up to?” I asked a bit confused. He then proceeded to show me this…
The grass seed was starting to germinate. IT WAS WORKING!
Then the next morning, I walked outside to walk to work, and I saw this!
That literally happened overnight, and I was so overjoyed. I instagrammed and tweeted and told people to go look, like a proud mom! My grass is growing!
As I was outside this afternoon, continuing to water the ever growing grass, I realized how much this is a metaphor for our spirit life. Going out and continuing to water time and again, even when you don’t think anything is happening because one day, you go out and you see it. You see growth. You see movement.
That’s true discipline. Continuing to keep at it, day after day, just because we know it’s good and it’s right for our spirit.
I know that if I hadn’t watered that grass, particularly in those first few days, that I probably wouldn’t see what I am seeing. My grass has grown, though, and I want that to be inspiration for the discipline of so many more things that produce fruit in Him. I am inspired.