I watered my lawn this morning. Uninteresting you say? “So what?”, you ask? Are you yawning with excitement over what slight detail I may have left out?
Well, would it interest you to know that my lawn didn’t need watering? In fact it’s been raining quite a bit here and my lawn was already saturated. And when I say saturated I mean swishy-swampy saturated. Have I piqued your interest in my story yet? No?
What if I told you that I watered my lawn without a hose? How about now? Want to know more? I mean how does one water one’s lawn without so much as a hose? Are your ears perked up yet? Not yet? Boy, you’re a tough nut to crack.
What if I told you that I watered my lawn with hot water? Is this some new tip I picked up from that PBS gardening show? I mean who waters their lawn with hot water? Want to know more? Even a little?
And what if I told you that I watered my lawn while I slept? Would you call me the most prolific gardener you’d ever heard of? I mean who waters their lawn while they’re sleeping? What kind of lawn savant would I have to be to have that kind of ability?
Well, I’ll tell you what kind of savant I am. I’m the kind that installs a “tankless” hot water heater in his attached shed and then wakes up to a failed connection in the hot water pipe so that for probably hours while I slept hot water poured out of the pipe, into the shed, and out into my yard. THAT’S what kind of savant I am. Impressive, huh?
I awoke this morning at 6:30ish and grabbed my towel and headed to the shower. I turned the knob and *drip*, *drip*, *drip*. And I heard the gentle hum of a tankless hot water heater, heating water for an undeserving lawn.
So, I sprung into action like some type of crazed, aquatic super hero; adjustable wrench in hand, out the back door, to the shed, surveyed the liquid carnage, and to the front yard to the main water shut-off valve.
And thanks to a great friend whom I called almost immediately, the situation was under control in less than an hour.
And I don’t mean to “spiritualize” everything, but after showering and getting into my day, I got to thinking.
And my thinking led me pretty quickly to a simple and yet for me, probing question: “Who needs me?”
As wonderful as that hot water was, the lawn didn’t need it at all. Neither did the concrete floor of my shed. The hot water was needed in the shower; and yet, that seemed to be the only place it wasn’t present.
And quite honestly, the question is baffling to me. And for better or for worse, I can’t come up with an answer. Now, don’t get me wrong. There are people who might be reading this right now and screaming at the screen, “I need you, Jerry!” My wife is the first person who comes to mind. And my kids might say that they need me. But honestly, besides them–I’m really not a commodity to anyone. I don’t mean to say that I’m not loved or don’t feel loved–on the contrary, I feel quite supported and embraced by my boss, my fellow pastors, my church body, and even some of my neighbors. But I guess the question for me digs deeper than that.
Jesus shocked people a lot. But there is really only one glaring recorded instance when the shock was too great for some people to continue to follow Him. He has said some pretty off-the-wall things about Himself, like being living bread that should be eaten. Pretty crazy, huh? And we’re told that from that point on many turned from Him and stopped following. But the part of the story that touches my life is when Jesus turns to the remaining disciples and says, “Are you going to leave me, too?” Peter said to Jesus, “Where would we go?” Peter wasn’t asking for suggestions. His question answered Jesus’ question clearly. Peter continued, “You have the words of life.” Peter was saying, “Jesus, I’m all in. I believe who You are and I’m with You.” In short, Peter needed Jesus. And I imagine there was a confidence in Peter’s voice, and yet a desperation as well. A desperation that you would have when you are standing on the only hope you have left. You’re confident in that hope, but after all, it is still the only hope left.
So, who needs me? If I click “Publish Post” on the screen and at that moment God decides that my life is done, I’d want every person I know and love to need Jesus the way Peter confessed to. I’d want everyone to cling to Christ as the only hope they have, but the only One they need.