Summary: So much of our life's vital energies are spent on efforts that have no lasting value...
Making Life Count For Something
1- Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
2- Wherefore do ye spend money for [that which is] not bread? and your labour for [that which] satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye [that which is] good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
Eccl 12:8 (NIV) "Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher.
"Everything is meaningless!"
9 Not only was the Teacher wise, but also he imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs.
10 The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.
11 The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails--given by one Shepherd.
12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them.
Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.
13 Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the whole [duty] of man.
When I was a homeowner, I had a yard...that’s a yard as opposed to a lawn. The difference between the two is found in their composition and appearance. A yard is composed of some grass, lots of weeds, and is usually not too tidy or trim. A lawn, on the other hand, is grass; green, rich grass...weedless, well watered, about an inch and a half in height...yeah...I had a yard.
But I discovered that I actually might have been one the “save the planet” side of things. Yup! I’ve found that tree huggers considered my yard an “organic lawn”! That’s right! Organic! Now there’s a word that carries a lot of clout nowadays. Yes, an organic lawn. Of course, there are requirements in order for the earth firsters to accept a lawn as organic; not just every lawn qualifies, I’m afraid. An organic lawn must be unsprayed, unfertilized, unwatered, and oh yes, uncut. Just call me Mr. Natural.
You know, there’s a tremendous amount of social prestige in having a nice lawn, and a tremendous amount of pressure as well. Had a neighbor one time who had a perfect lawn. I don’t have to describe it for you; you’ve already got the picture in your heads. He was always kind of glancing over sideways at my yard...and I’m almost positive that I could hear him sniff with disdain over the purring of his electric mower. That lawn was his life’s work. He was retired, and spent hour after hour making his square of green look like something out of a golfing magazine. Yeah, lots of pressure there.
I’m almost convinced that the whole thing is the result of some international, corporate plot, after all, lawns had originally be the marque of wealth and prestige. But over the past 150 years the concept of having a lawn has been popularized. Grasses have been developed; the lawn mower, rubber hoses, sprinklers, chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides have all been invented, manufactured, and marketed. So where God had originally planted dandelions, violets, clover, thistle, and other stuff, which are tough, and grow anywhere without care, and attract butterflies, honey bees, and songbirds, we dig it all up and plant...grass.
The way we act toward grass makes no sense whatsoever. We take great pains to keep the stuff healthy and growing. We fertilize it in the spring, but as soon as it starts to grow pretty good, we dig out the mower and cut it off! Then, we rake it up, buy bags to put it in, and pay someone to take it away. When it’s growth starts to slow in the heat of the summer, we haul out hoses and pay to water it so it can grow so we can cut it so we can pay to have it taken away again.
Anyone interested in a dollar figure for this whole process? Ready for this? In North America, over 40 billion (that’s right, BILLION...that’s 40 and nine zeroes...) Dollars are spent EACH YEAR on...you guessed it...lawn care. That’s like 8000 people working 40 hours a week and paying $100.00 per hour all for the great joy of having a lawn…and doing it for 24 years. Or it’s like you working 15 hours a day, six days a week, and paying $1000.00 for every hour you work....and doing it for 8500 years. All to plant, care for, and cut a crop that you can’t eat, sell, or make into anything useful.
Now that’s empty labour.
8500 years of mowing the lawn, an indentured servant to a green rectangle. Doesn’t it frustrate you just to think about it? To put it in perspective, try thinking of this: to go 8500 years into the past would take you back over 4000 years before the birth of Abraham! When the foundations of Egypt’s most ancient pyramids were being laid, you’d have already been working for over 3000 years. 8500 years of labour with absolutely nothing to show for it. When others were building pyramids and founding nations, you were busy mowing the lawn.