Saturday, June 23, 2007
THE DIFFICULT SHRUB
At risk of aggravating my friend the kidney stone (who was pretty agitated yesterday for some reason), I spent some time today trimming the shrubs in front of our house. Trimming shrubs is not one of my favorite things to do. That is why it doesn't get done nearly as often as it should. And it almost didn't happen today ...

The morning started with the discovery that my battery operated hedge trimmers are no longer working. I had tried to charge the battery but it apparently won't take a charge. It has been a couple of years (at least) since I last used it.

So, placing the silent hedge trimmer aside, I decided to instead tackle some serious cutting on the weeping crabapple that someone (before us) planted way too close to the house. Unfortunately over the years, the trunk keeps getting longer and, as a result, I have to keep trimming the foliage closer and closer to the trunk so that it doesn't grow into the house's overhang and gutters. This is creating a very oddly shaped tree. At one point this morning, I seriously considered giving up. I already have an issue with not being good at completing things and it is made worse by projects that are frustrating. With assurances from Lisa that the tree was looking better, I kept at it though. And now we are the proud owners of what looks like one of those things that they use in cartoons to stuff cannonballs down into cannons. We basically have a long stick with a bit of a poof on the end. It also, from one angle, looks a little bit like the tree in the Dr. Seuss book where the dogs are having a big dog party in the top of a tree. I think that is the "Do you like my hat?" story if I remember correctly.

After creating the abstract Seussian tree, I decided to go buy a new hedge trimmer. However, I realized I would want a battery-operated one and that would mean that the batteries would have to be charged before I could use it ... which would mean that I would never get the shrubs trimmed today. Man, that was tempting!

However, I called my dad and he has an electic hedge trimmer which he said I could borrow. I am not a fan of electric trimmers because I invariably cut off the extension cord at some point. I will be trimming along and all of a sudden there will be a GRUNT, a ZZZOTTT, and the trimmer will stop as a bare live wire falls dangerously down the side of my leg. I am not a fan of that. But I decided to risk it ... I borrowed dad's electric trimmers. Surely I could be careful and not cut off the end of an extension cord this one time.

Things went slowly but okay for the most part. Because they haven't been trimmed much, we are the proud owners of very large shrubs that take awhile to trim. I often think you'd have to pay a lot of money to buy shrubs that large. Yeah ... right ... whatever, Todd.

We have one shrub which I especially hate trimming though. It is a taxus. Most taxus are easy to trim ... except for this stubborn one. Most shrubs when you trim them sort of take on a natural shape and contour that you can follow. But this shrub grows wildly with no semblance of natural shape or form. So, as you trim it, you really don't know what you're aiming for.

Because it is the thing to do for Christians to think of analogies to God when they work in their gardens and yards, I had to follow suit. As I trimmed this stubborn shrub, I wondered if God considers me to be a stubborn shrub or a shrub that is easily trimmed to the desired shape. Ultimately, He is striving for something in me as He prunes but do I make it easy for Him ... or difficult?

Things were humming along nicely as I reflected on this. Birds were chirping. The temperature was just right. The trimmers were working just great. And then , all of sudden ... GRUNT ... ZZZOTTT ... the extension cord, bare and hot wires exposed, fell down dangerously alongside my leg.

So much for reflective moments. I thought about swearing ... but then I remembered ... I want to be that easy shrub for God to trim.

  posted at 2:40 PM  
  3 comments



3 Comments:
At 5:57 PM, Blogger HeyJules said...

Sorry for the danger but thanks for the laugh. Seriously, I was all into your analogy of shrubery in the hands of God's pruning shears when you made a sharp right and left me giggling hysterically.

I do hope you're okay.

[I'm not going to comment on what I think God meant by that little zap of electricity. I think you can probably figure that out on your own...]

 
At 9:35 PM, Blogger The Thief said...

I love the "Go, Dog. Go" reference. It was my childhood favorite book, and now it is my son's favorite. It cracks me up to have him want me to ask him, "Do you like my hat" and to have him answer, "I do not!"

 
At 5:35 AM, Blogger Todd M said...

Thief -- Thanks for the reminder that "Go Do, Go" is the book title. Our son used to terrorize us with repeated requests for oral renditions of "Fox in Socks"!

 

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