Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Joy of Resisting Resistance

I just mowed the lawn.

Or at least, I tried. 

I got so aggravated with it I stopped. 

We got a new lawn mower a few months ago, and Hubbles really seemed to like getting out there to mow. It's exercise after all.

But it was a nice day, and even though I'd already had my run, I also had a muffin after that run, something I don't usually indulge in anymore. I felt guilty and wanted to punish myself with more chores. So I got out the new mower.

I thought I was doing something wrong, because the handle was at a strange angle and it kept shifting forward. Plus, it was almost up to my chin. I felt like a 10-year old.

"Am I doing this right?" I asked Hubbles as he came up the street from walking the dog.

"Yes, that's the way it is," he replied.

"Isn't there a way to adjust the height of the handle?" I asked.

Apparently not. So I just kept going, although I emphatically informed him that I would definitely NOT be mowing the lawn EVER again.

He was fine with that. He's used to my outbursts (sigh).

I continued mowing just to finish the front, but grew more agitated with each turn. I started muttering cuss words under my breath and saying things like, "This is so stupid." The more agitated I became, the harder I pushed the mower, and the harder I pushed, the harder it was to push, which fueled my aggravation. 

Not too proud of this picture that I made Hubbles take--but that's me in action. See how high the handle is???
Then I remembered that I was supposed to be intentionally finding joy in my day. What kind of joy could I possibly find in THIS situation?

The joy of resisting resistance.

I resisted the work because it wasn't working for me. And the more I resisted the work, the harder that work became. I pushed myself and the mower harder out of frustration and the physical resistance, the physics of the whole mowing thing actually increased. There was some joy in that discovery because I realized that if I simply resisted the desire to resist the work, it would become easier. 

How often have you done this? 

Maybe not with a lawn mower, but with the bills piled up on your desk that you're trying to pay before you run out to a meeting, with the dinner that your trying to cook while the kids clamor for your attention, or driving your car after you've been stuck in traffic?

The more we resist, the sloppier our work becomes. 

But when we resist the temptation of resisting, we remain calm. When we submit ourselves to remaining calm and in control, we defeat the purposes of the enemy--getting us to lose our cool and control over a situation. 

We're resisting the wrong thing!

Therefore, submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7).

I slowed down. I stopped the abrupt movements and awkward and erratic turns. And the work became easier. After all, there was no real fault in any of this. It wasn't my fault and it wasn't the mower's. We just didn't work well together. 

Hubbles likes the mower so he can keep the chore. There are plenty more chores around the house for me to resist find joy in completing.

Blessing Along the Path,

sharing this blog with some of these lovely bloggers and with Write 31 Days

This is part of the Write 31 Days series. Click here to read other posts about Intentional Joy!


  1. This was just what the doctor (er, Doctor) ordered today! I'm struggling with what should be a simple task of sharing photos online. Egads, what a pain! Or maybe I'm just technologically challenged, as I've always suspected. In any event, your post provided much needed smiles and a bit more patience. Thanks, Mare! And tell Hubbles he can do my lawn with that monster any time he wants to lug it over!

    1. Oh, I know that one too well, Thea! I don't know why I didn't think to include technology in my little list of "do you do this?" Because I get frustrated all the time with technology. I pray that you will find joy as you share those photos today, and that as you load and look at each one, the people in it and the memories of the places you were will bring you joy!

  2. I mowed the lawn ONCE in my life. I was in my early 30's and hub at the time was out to sea. Single mom with toddlers trying to care for a quarter acre alone in a new town and property. I had to have the neighbor come over and turn it on because I couldn't pull the cord to start the engine. I overheated and was flat the rest of the day and into the night with a migraine. NEVER again. Hired a lawn service. That being said--you make a valid point about slowing down and resisting the resist. Didn't help me all those years ago trying to mow a lawn that was mostly weeds and dirt. There's a metaphor lesson there, too, methinks . . .

    1. Oh you poor dear. I actually enjoyed mowing the lawn-until The Beast moved in. Funny thing is...I work for a landscape company...owned by a family member. Cobbler's shoes and all that.