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I am the crazy person who enjoys mowing the lawn. However, I don’t enjoy using a “push” mower. Even if it is self-propelled, I don’t enjoy mowing with it. Since I’ve been a little kid, I dreamed of having a riding lawn mower.

The predecessor to Walmart was a huge department store in New Jersey called, “Two Guys.”  They got their name because people said, “I know these Two Guys who can get you a great deal.” Thus the name stuck. We’d go there and I’d sit on the riding lawn mowers, dreaming of the day I would have my own. 

I remember visiting my father’s cousins and they had a riding lawn mower. They allowed me to mow their lawn. I was thrilled. They probably thought I was insane.

When I lived in northern Virginia, I purchased my first riding lawn mower. It was used. Originally it was red. My sons painted it black. 

After that one died I purchased a new riding mower. It stopped working after seven years. My sister gave me her lawn mower. I was super grateful. It has a Honda engine with two cylinders. The steering is designed so that you can palm the steering wheel. It turns so easily. It’s over twenty years old and comes with the challenges of an older lawn mower but I’m grateful. One of my goals is to see how fast I can mow the lawn. My record is 45 minutes, both front and back.

Let me bring you to today. It had been a long week. I was out late every night. I needed a fun weekend. I got home at a reasonable hour. My wife was not home. I figured I’d mow the lawn, get it done and enjoy the weekend. 

I fired up the mower and started racing around the lawn. I got the front yard done and headed to the back. I came around the corner and was heading for the first pass. As I came by the steps to the deck, I heard a “whoosh”.  I quickly disengaged the blades and looked at what happened. We had a mat at the bottom of the steps. I thought I cleared it. But the vacuum of the blades sucked the mat under the mower deck. It securely wedged itself  around the right blade and the mower housing. It wasn’t coming off. I had to take the blade off to remove the mat from the mower.

If I had been just six inches further to my right, none of this would have happened. I mowed too close to the mat. Those six inches cost me almost an hour of unnecessary work.

If I ask you not to touch something, what do you do? You don’t touch it. Rather, you see how close you can get to it without touching it. Maybe you’re a 1/8 or 1/16 of an inch away. You make a mistake and touch it.

There are things in our life that seek to destroy us. We try to see how close we can get to them without getting burned. We touch it and it destroys us. How do we avoid it? There is a Scripture verse that says, “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.”

There was a way of escape. I just got too close. 

I’ll be back in two weeks. Until then, live well my friend.


Rev. Tony Marciano is the President/CEO of the Charlotte Rescue Mission. He is available to speak to your group. Learn more here.