Once a week I watch my elderly neighbor rake leaves from his yard and driveway, and the sidewalk in front of his house. I always scoff a bit, wondering why he wastes his time. All those leaves he rakes, out into the street, out of his yard. Surely he must know that his effort is in vain? I mean, one fast car passes by and all those leaves, wet and dirty, fly right back into his yard. Not to mention the gargantuan maple tree that hovers over, leaning from the neighbors yard, just waiting to give a good shiver and send hundreds of leaves to the clean yard below. So as I sit here on the stool by a window and nose my way into his life from the warmth and security of my home, I wonder: why? ( I didn't mention that he does all this in socks and sandals - in the 50 degree wet weather.)
Although I'm not sure why, I think the answer might be a simple one. The way that old man is hunched over his rake every Sunday is the way we should live our lives. We should constantly be raking out the old leaves. Cleaning up our yards. Our minds, our hearts, our lives. Jesus doesn't want us to be stagnant. He doesn't want us to sit by and let the dirty old leaves pile up just because, in a few minutes, more leaves will come drifting down. The sin, the garbage that piles up, what would happen if we just let it be, for fear we'd just have to clean it up again in a few days? It would over take us and begin to hide who we really are, God's lights. How can our light shine if its hidden by piles of leaves? Not to mention how the slimy leaves would start to kill the grass and make a lovely home for all sorts of bugs.
So my question is to you (and me): have you raked your yard today?