I have never been afraid of work. I bought my first lawn mower at the age of 9. I mowed nearly every lawn on our block. There was something satisfying about earning an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work.
One summer, my brother joined me in the lawn mowing business. Together, we were set on owning the market. If there was a lawn to be mowed in our neck of the woods, we were sure to cut it.
Most of our lawns were within walking distance. These were the days before weed eaters. Curbs and driveways were groomed with a hoe. Houses were edged by hand with a pair of shears. I can still hear the sound of those shears as I crawled around each house. My knees and palms were grass stained, but my grip was like a vice.
Eventually, my hard work paid off, and I was able to buy a motorcycle. The experiences I had on that motorcycle determined that if my children were to ever enjoy two-wheeled transportation, they would do so using pedals. On more than one occasion, I nearly took my last ride. I was a motorcycle maniac. I should have realized motorcycles weren’t for me when I drove my motorcycle to the driver’s license testing station, failed the test and then drove home again without a license! How I escaped without a ticket baffles me to this day.
I eventually passed the driving test. On one hot afternoon, my brother was finishing a lawn on the far side of our territory. I got a bright idea. Why should my brother push the lawn mower all the way back home when I could give him a lift?
Rather than sit on the motorcycle seat with me, we decided it would be best if we tied the mower to my motorcycle, and my brother sat on the engine of the mower. Getting started was the hard part. Once we got the mower rolling, at approximately 25 M.P.H., the lunging and weaving stopped and the ride became manageable; that is until we passed a police officer.
I don’t think he believed what he saw. I can imagine the call over the police scanner. “Yeah, this is One Adam 12. You’re not going to believe this, but I just saw a young white male on a push mower chasing another young white male on a motorcycle. Strike that. I am now in pursuit. The mower is being towed by the motorcycle!”
We were pulled over one block from our house. Rather than give us a ticket, he made us push the motorcycle and the mower the rest of the way home.
Looking back on the experience, I am reminded of Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” Thank the Lord we didn’t succeed in killing ourselves that day.
I have learned it is much better to do as Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” That is good advice for every man.