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Great yards, no people

June 2, 2008

by Rev. Bill Baldwin, Prairie Evangelical UCC Church, Lester Prairie

I’ve noticed that there are lots of really beautiful yards around the area, with perfectly manicured grass and stunning landscaping.

Funny thing is, the yards are usually empty of people. Why do we spend hours and hours to make things look just right, and so little time enjoying the results?

There are lots of great parks in the area, and again, often they stand empty. Where are the people?

As kids, we grew up in the neighborhood yards. Everything happened there. Now, we seem to want to project a certain image with our yards that would be messed up if used by ordinary people enjoying summer fun.

Wouldn’t it be better to spend less time on creating a perfect appearance and more time getting together, and just being together in the all-too-short summer days? Why do we work ourselves to the bone all weekend and then go back to work and let the people who drive by be the only ones to enjoy our effort?

By the way, I do love a beautifully landscaped lawn, don’t get me wrong. I have seen some really bad properties, so I know the benefits of a little mowing and trimming. But I believe God wants us to enjoy being together outside while we can.

We don’t need to run away to a lake up north. We have all kinds of lakes and parks and nice yards right here.

And so I challenge you to call up a neighbor, or three, and invite them to come over and sit and just talk things over. You know, like they used to do on “The Andy Griffith show.” They always seemed mighty happy and peaceful, and they didn’t seem to be consumed with keeping up with the Jones’.

God made lawns to be for the joy of people, not to make people slaves to perfection.

Have a fabulous summer, but enjoy it with people. You will quickly forget how nice your yard looked, but will long remember afternoons or evenings spent laughing and talking with people, who make our lives most meaningful.

Peace.