Southern Indiana Living

JUL-AUG 2017

Southern Indiana Living magazine is the exclusive publication of the region, offering readers a wide range of coverage on the people, places and events that make our area unlike any other. In SIL readers will find beautiful photography, encouraging s

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July/August 2017 • 48 T he first house I owned had a yard that I could never keep mowed. I had a push mower, and it took forever to get the job done. On top of that, my wife and I were both working a lot of hours, so by the time I actually got around to mowing, my back yard looked more like the jungles of Borneo than the suburbs of Indianapolis. I once got lost in there for about a week before I was rescued by a game war- den. Okay, so maybe that didn't happen, but it wouldn't have surprised me. My grass was so tall they had to redirect air traffic around our neighborhood. Of course, the long grass meant it took me twice as long to mow it, which made the problem worse since I was al- ready short on time. All hope seemed lost until that mag- ical day I saw a sign posted in our neigh- borhood by a teen-ager who lived down the street—Lawn Mowing Service. Bingo. Twenty-five bucks later my problem was solved. Or so I thought. The kid came over and did a fantastic job. It was the best money I'd ever spent. I should have had him come every week, but the way I fig- ured it, I was an able-bodied young man. I didn't need some whipper-snapper hang- ing around my house all the time, drain- ing my wallet dry. Surely I could keep up with the lawn most weeks and just call in Junior when my schedule got hectic. I don't know if I was prideful, cheap or a liĴle of both, but that line of thinking got me in trouble fast. One busy week led to another and before I knew it, the jun- gles of Borneo had returned. It was time to call for help. Twenty- five more dollars, and he was all over it. But then a month later I did it again. This time the jungles of Borneo had grown into the Amazon rain forest. With a sum- mer full of VBS, camp and other activities, I'd really let it go. I was a desperate man. It was time to call in my backup. Unfortunately, my backup other had oth- er ideas. "Mr. Byerly," he said. "I drove by your house the other day." Uh oh. The liĴle snoop wasn't sup- posed to be driving by my house. I didn't like where this conversation was going. Then he said, "There's no way I could mow that yard." What? No way? I couldn't believe it! Wasn't he a teen-ager? Didn't he need money for pizza and Clearasil? What was this next generation coming to? I offered the kid more money, but he couldn't be bought. I had gone too far this time, and I couldn't even bribe a poor high school student to bail me out. I had clearly reached a new low in lawn main- tenance. There was only one solution. I had to sell my house. Now my lawn is the size of a post- age stamp. It only takes about a half an hour to mow and trim it, and even I can keep up with that. When I think back on my big yard days, it reminds me that sometimes I have a tendency to want to do things on my own. Even when I'm in hopelessly over my head, I'm reluctant to ask for help. Nowhere is this truer than in my spiritual life. Sometimes I treat God like I did my lawn guy. Instead of cultivating a regu- lar, ongoing relationship with Him that would keep me out of trouble, I only call Him when I'm desperate, when I've made such a mess of things I couldn't possibly straighten it out on my own. In times like that I half-expect God to respond like that teen-ager did. I ex- pect Him to say, "You've gone too far this time. I've seen how bad things are, and you are on your own." But God never does that. He's not my employee. He's my Dad. Even though I deserve it sometimes, He never quits on me, and He'll never quit on you. No mat- ter how big the mess. No maĴer how bad the problem. He's only one call away. Psalm 46:1 says that God is, "always ready to help in times of trouble" (NLT). So no maĴer how much you've let things go in your life, no maĴer how dark of a jungle you may find yourself in this week, give Him a call. What's impossible for you is nothing for Him, and He loves to help His kids. • Jason Byerly is a writer, pastor, husband and dad who loves the quirky surprises God sends his way every day. You can catch up with Ja- son on his blog at www.jasonbyerly.com or on TwiĴer at www.twiĴer.com/jasondbyerly. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com / topseller A Backyard Jungle This time the jungles of Borneo had grown into the Amazon rain forest. With a summer full of VBS, camp and other activities, I'd really let it go. I was a desperate man. Everyday Adventures

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