I’ve made no secret of the fact that I hate yard work. It’s a never-ending job with little thanks. It always has to happen outdoors, which is not my favorite place, and it’s usually hot and buggy. I guess the worst part about it for me personally is that I’m just not very good at it.
I once had a neighbor that was great at it. It was his passion. He would spent countless hours working in his yard and it showed. His yard looked like a combination of a golf course and a botanical garden. My yard looked bad by itself, even when I was trying, and it looked even worse by comparison. You could see the line where his yard stopped and mine started and it looked like a before and after photo from a Trugreen advertisement.
My neighbor was so passionate about his yard, and all yards, that I sort of felt judged no matter what I did. If I didn’t work hard on my yard then I was failing and if I did invest some energy and effort it never seemed like enough. Try as I might I just couldn’t live up to his passionate standards. His passion, without grace, didn’t inspire me. Instead, it depressed me and just made me want to give up.
Eventually, I killed that neighbor and buried his body in a pile of unkempt weeds.
Well, actually, that didn’t happen at all. Instead, the neighbor eventually move though. He said he needed a bigger house but I’ve always suspected that the state of my yard had something to do with it. Regardless, we got some new neighbors in the process and they are a lot more gracious about the whole thing. Their yard still looks better than mine but I don’t feel judged.
The weird thing is that I’ve found that I didn’t mind working in the yard as much as I once did. I couldn’t figure out why at first but then it dawned on me that there was just more grace and where there is grace there is room to grow.
Remember, grace allows others to grow. Judgement stifles growth both in ourselves and others. (Click here to tweet this.)
Don’t allow your passions to fuel a graceless and judgemental attitude. Passion with grace is the key to a happy life…and happy neighbors.