Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Acknowledge Him

When I was in college, it was always a challenge to find a job for the summer.  One summer I managed to land several lawn care customers.  One was located in Germantown, a suburb east of Memphis, on a large 2-acre lot.  My customer was a very nice lady named Jan, and she was very specific about how she wanted things to be done.  She wanted me to mow the large lawn in front of the house with a self-propelled mower, and she allowed me to use her riding mower for the rest of the property.  I didn’t really understand why she wanted it done that way.  Both mowers had a grass bag attachment, and I couldn’t see a difference between the grass mowed with the self-propelled mower and the grass mowed with the riding mower.

Jan was always around, watching as I worked.  She was very particular about her yard and wanted to make sure I did it right.  After a few weeks, I must have earned her trust, because she drove away one day in her convertible Jaguar, leaving me to work on my own.  It was a hot, muggy day, and I started out on the riding mower, mowing the grass to the side and rear of the house.  When I finished, I decided to mow the front yard with the riding mower as well.  Jan was gone, and she would never know the difference.  I could finish the job much faster without having to stop every few strips to empty the bag on the self-propelled mower.

I finished the mowing and was just starting to do the trimming when Jan got home.  She got out of the car and took her things into the house.  A few minutes later she came out and confronted me.  “You used the riding mower on the front lawn,” she said knowingly.  How could she tell?  It all looked the same to me.  Jan was not happy.  She had always been pleased with my work, but I had let her down.  I finished the job and she paid me, and then told me she might not want me to come back.  We talked it over, and I saved my job, but I had lost her confidence.  I knew exactly how she wanted the yard done, but instead of acknowledging her position as my employer, I had decided to do it my way.  As a result, I had to work harder to convince her that I was trustworthy, and that I would do the job the way she wanted it done.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”  (ESV)  I memorized this passage when I was a child, and never really gave much thought to what it meant to acknowledge God.  Acknowledging God is more than just a nod in His direction.  To “acknowledge” means to know thoroughly, or to recognize a thing to be what it really is.  If we acknowledge, or submit (as is stated in the TNIV) to God as our authority in all that we do, He will make our way clear to accomplish what He has given us to do.  If we refuse to acknowledge Him in all that we do, the path is much more difficult.

His ways are better than our ways.  Acknowledge Him and He will make the way clear for you!

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