Watering the Lawn

Even amid a pandemic, our call as parents is to not just plant seeds in the ground. It’s also to water and to work the ground long after the grass grows.

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I’m not a garden dad. I wish I was, though. You know, the houses with the immaculate lawns, flowers and properly laid mulch and stuff? Yeah, that’s not me. I’m more of a patches and dandelions guy; who mows the laws because I don’t ever want to drop my keys in my backyard and lose them to nature. That said, every few years or so, I try to up my game…or I should say, start my game.

So a few weeks back, I purchased like 30 bags of topsoil and some bags of grass seeds and worked on filling in and reseeding my back lot. It wasn’t fun, but it was an honest day’s work as I mowed my grassy-weedy backyard, raked the excess rocks up, laid down the soil, placed the seed down as even and as plentiful as possible and then stood around to water the patch since we didn’t have a sprinkler. I was also too lazy to pick one up after a long day (plus I’d have to order it online and do the curb-side wait and I’m already bored).

So I’m standing on my lawn, watering my grass with the silly thought that by the next day, the grass will begin to grow and all my work (and telling Becca, my wife, that I know what I’m doing) will not be in vain. And yet, when I went outside the following morning, all I saw was dried soil and excess grass seeds in need of more water, more attention and more care.

Maybe Becca was right?

Seriously though, as parents, we often see our kids this way. We teach a lesson one day and we instinctively think “Oh this will stick for sure…” only to watch them forget it a few seconds after they leave our sides. And the older they get, the more frustrating it feels for us as parents and caregivers. And yet, our call as parents is to daily rake the grounds, plant seeds and water the ground until something grows.

My job as a groundkeeper didn’t end after the soil and seed. And it won’t end after the patch FINALLY fills in with beautiful green blades. I still need to tend to the yard. I still need to mow it, fight off weeds and dandelion plans and prepare it this fall for next spring. The work on the yard never ends. Same with caring for our kids.

An often-quoted line from the scriptures is “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it,” (Proverbs 22:6). Other translations use the words train up instead of direct, which is defined as: to initiate and to dedicate.

Even amid a pandemic, where parenting is a mix of “stay awake in online class” and “I can’t play with you cause I’m on another zoom call,” our call as parents is to not just plant seeds in the ground. It’s also to water and to work the ground long after the grass grows. It may mean longer nights, earlier mornings and arguments that go nowhere but what you’re doing for your child is making an impact. It may not grow when you want. It may mean putting some more seed down. It may mean a larger water bill. But the end result will be worth it.

So don’t grow weary in doing good, friends. And don’t beat yourself up on the journey towards good. Just keep on seeding and watering. The growth is coming.

Chris Chase is the lead pastor at The Meeting House Newmarket. He is married to Becca, and dad to Eliana and Liam.