Today’s find: Lopping shears

Today, I have pruning on my mind. With the “spring-forward” time change set for this weekend, I’m guessing the “spring thaw” won’t be far behind. Sap soon will be rising—so it’s now or never (this year, anyway) if I’m going to get the front landscaping back under control.

To prepare for the task, I borrowed a pair of lopping shears from my mother recently. And I almost can’t wait to put those bad-boys into action. They look like a real he-man tool, with their jet-black 29” carbon-fiber handles…and an exclusive ‘Power Lever’ design that lets you cut ‘2X easier,’ according to the decal near the grip.

Now I know myself well enough to become suspicious whenever this sort of over-the-top energy starts to well up inside. Usually, it means I’m setting myself up for failure—as I ‘leap’ before I ‘look completely’ into a project…one that turns out to be a bit more complicated than it first appears.

In this case, I’ve already asked for assistance from a landscaping professional. And while I’m waiting for a slot to open up in his schedule, I’ve had a chance to consider the spiritual implications of pruning.

Jesus himself calls it an important element of spirituality: God prunes every branch, he says—cutting away the ones that don’t bear fruit…and cutting back the ones that do, so that they bear more fruit.

Look outside my front door, and you’ll see an object lesson in the importance of deep pruning. There are yew bushes on either side of the front walk—a deep, healthy green…and neatly trimmed into symmetrical cylinders. But after 20 years of growth, they’re overhanging sidewalk now…turning a 36-inch wide path…into just a 24-inch opening.

ImageHealthy bushes are a good thing, right?  But in this case, they are limiting the ability of other good things to get in. Those yews definitely need some deep pruning.

Which is not unlike some of my own habits. Take TV viewing, for example. It’s not a bad thing in itself. But it’s become WAY too much of a time-waster in my life. Almost without fail, I pop the set on right after dinner…and if there are no meetings on my evening schedule…it’s not unusual for me to spend the next three or four hours under its spell.

Last night, though, Gerri beat me to the remote… and suggested that we keep the TV dark for a while.

What a great idea! It gave me a chance to finish reading a book I’d been working on since last summer—Valerie Martin’s “Salvation,” a novelized version of the life of St. Francis.

A day later, I don’t know if I’m fully prepared to take a lopping shears to my TV viewing habits. But through Gerri’s suggestion, the Lord seems to have put a pretty powerful tool in my hands.

Time, perhaps, for some deep pruning in this corner of my garden?


One comment on “Today’s find: Lopping shears

  1. […] received in much the same manner over the past couple of years. From time to time, I stumble across some really fine tools—and discover how they can turn drudgery into a joy. On occasion, they’ve even led to moments […]

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