What makes a picture perfect yard, you know, the one that could be featured on the cover of a home and garden magazine? Is it the beautifully landscaped flower beds or the lush green grass? The lawn is always mowed to the right height; it looks like the outfield at Fenway Park. Maybe the trees and shrubs always seem to be blooming with pretty flowers. The beds are mulched and the front porch has lovely hanging baskets filled with ferns or bright flowers. Now think of another yard, one that might not be so well maintained.
What often makes the difference between a picture perfect yard and one that might just be so-so? Yes, it could be some (or all) of the big things mentioned above, but often times it is just the little finishing touches that make all the difference. Take for example, edging along side the driveway and sidewalks. Maybe the yard is always mowed, but if the grass has grown onto the driveway it often diminishes the beauty of everything else that is well maintained. That ragged edge along the driveway might even be the first thing people see when they drive past your house. They miss the “big stuff” and only see what might be considered “little.” Sometimes something as little as edging the lawn along the driveway makes all the difference between picture perfect and so-so.
Often times it is the same with us. We get all the big things right, but it is the little ones that so often trip us up. We don’t commit adultery or rob banks. We have never murdered anyone or embezzled from our employer. But we’ve been known to tell the proverbial “white lie” now and then. We talk critically about someone behind their back or gossip in the lunchroom or locker room. The programs we watch on television, or the websites we visit on our computer, are not always wholesome. We might have fudged a number or two on our tax return, nothing major, but nonetheless, we were not completely truthful.
For most of us, the temptation to steal or murder is minimal, but talking negatively about another human being, or lying to someone to “save your skin,” those are temptations we’ve all fallen prey to from time to time. It is true that some sins have bigger consequences than others, but God does not look at sin as being either big or small. God looks at sin and He hates every single one of them, regardless of the name or size we give to them. Sin is totally against the nature of God and sin separates us from Him. Our relationship with God and with those around us is always damaged by the sins we commit.
We are all susceptible to being seduced by Satan, and he loves to trip us up in the little things. In 1 Corinthians 10:12 we read these words, “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall.” But you don’t have to do it alone; God is with you. Here are very comforting words in the very next verse, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Cor 10:13).
So today, do some edging along side your driveway. It makes a big difference!
New Bern, North Carolina