I heard about the guy last week who tried to choke his neighbor’s lawn service worker for failing to weed the neighbor’s flower bed. The worker explained he had been hired to cut and trim the grass, but not the beds. This apparently unsatisfactory answer led to the “choker” leaving visible marks on his victim and ultimately being charged with a count of felony battery. The irate neighbor was convinced that the lack of weeding was causing him to now be fighting weeds in his own lawn. The attacking neighbor tried to pull the victim off his riding mower and grabbed him by the neck.
If these are all the facts, what an extreme case of mixed up priorities. Hurting another person over how unkempt or manicured his or their lawn is? It seems unthinkable. But many of us know “that” neighbor. Some of us may wrestle with being “that” neighbor. If we could step back, we might see how silly excessive obsession with such things is.
In speaking about worry, Jesus reminds us that the grass of the field is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace (Mat. 6:30). Peter adds that the grass withers (1 Pe. 1:24). James similarly speaks of withering, fading, and expiring grass (1:10ff). These men said this to make a spiritual point about worrying, the Word, and wisdom, but the fact remains that grass is numbered among those things that will be burned up at the end of the world (2 Pe. 3:10). Yet, the souls of men will continue somewhere everlastingly (cf. Mat. 25:46).
Are we spending too much time grappling over grass, fretting over finances, or wrapped up in the world? Are we giving the best part of ourselves for that which in the end matters least? Jesus said, “Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life…” (John 6:27). Maybe it’s not food or grass for you. Whatever earthly thing it may be, put it in its proper place. And put Him in His proper place (cf. Mat. 6:33).