Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Being An Example

Well, sadly I must leave my folks today and head on to my NYC book signing, then home. I decided in my last day here with my parents that I would try to finish the very last 5 foot border of heavy wet leaves all along the perimeter of their yard. I had initially decided not to do that last bit, as it would be very hard, and besides, most of their yard was now clear.

However, it was a surprisingly beautiful day and it seemed that I really ought to finish the job. Their next door neighbors never rake their leaves, and to make the yard more of a problem, they also have several unfinished projects strewn about their property. I noticed those neighbors watching me as my leaf pile grew and grew on the curb. (This is a very civilized town where a giant leaf sucking truck comes and sucks up the leaves dumped on the curb.) The neighbors watched as I raked the leaves from our lawn adjoining their property. It was a stark difference as I labored. Their yard covered in age old leaves; ours now neat and raked clean. I felt a little like collapsing but the end of the whole project was in sight. I labored on.

The neighbors pulled out their mulching lawn mower. As I raked, I noticed them take down one of their unfinished projects and put it away. I grew wearier and wearier but I was determined on this last day to finish what I had started. Completely. The neighbors were now both puttering about their yard, putting away clutter that had adorned the front yard for the entire year or more...My leaf pile on the curb grew.

Finally, every portion of my parent's yard was leaf free. I was completely exhausted, my hands ached, my throat was parched, and I couldn't quite move my fingers. BUT, I had done what I had been certain I could not possibly do in one week. The neighbor's were now mowing their lawn. I came inside, and mentioned to my parents that I thought I had shamed the neighbors into getting rid of their leaves.
"Nah," they both said.

We went to lunch, and when we returned, the neighbors entire front yard was clear of leaves.
"I would never have believed it," said Mom.
Incidentally, my parent's yard looked wonderful.

You never know when you might be an example to others and spur them on to good works. Or perhaps, if they know that you love Jesus and desire more than anything on earth to honor Him, they might even desire to know Him too. It certainly couldn't hurt to try. Good examples have a way of snowballing.

Warning: I will be en route to NYC and then in NYC for my book signing over the next two days, and likely unable to blog for a few days. Prayers that I might not be speechless during my speech and that God would be glorified would be much appreciated.

Matthew 5:16 

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

1 Timothy 4:12

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.

Ephesians 5:1-33

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

James 4:17

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

1 Corinthians 15:33

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

Colossians 3:16

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Colossians 3:17 

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

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