Hey You! (Go Mow the Lawn)

Maintenance-TipsI’ll set the scene for you:

I was 22 years old, single, and renting a house in midtown Tulsa with some friends, one of which was the owner.

I was currently working at my best friend’s Auto Body Repair shop he had just opened, and let’s just say financially, we were the Titanic, and we were heading straight for the iceberg.  Naturally, rent was due in 4 days, so I checked my bank account, I was $800 in the hole.  Hmm, looks like the boss man wrote me a rubber paycheck.

Okay, this was not fair right?! I was a victim of the circumstance, the conditions were out of my control, I worked long hard hours, I did my job well, I went above and beyond, yet I was the one to suffer for it. I’ll just tell my landlord what happened and surely he will understand, it will be fine, I mean there is nothing I can do about it so he has to be cool with it right? No big deal…

Now, take the next few minutes and check yourself, if you have EVER said or thought anything along those lines, hop in your car, drive to your grandpa’s house, have him punch you in the stomach as hard as he can, and then thank him for it, because that’s what you deserve.

The majority of humans think this way, as in the example above. They have a “poor me” mentality, there is ALWAYS something going on in their lives and it is NEVER their fault and there is nothing they can ever do about it.

They are always victims.

I currently manage an insurance agency and I daily hear the excuses of weak, poverty-minded people, believing they should be relieved from their obligation to make their payments because their car broke down, or their brother owes them money and he didn’t pay, or they lost their job this week, or it rained…whatever,  I’ve heard them all.

Listen to me, do NOT let these excuses come out of your mouth, when you speak and act like this, do you want to know what you’re really doing?

You are being conformed to the world. When you talk and act like this, you are giving up and giving in, allowing yourself to be a victim. To put it delicately, you are being a lazy, weak-minded, coward.

The Bible says in Romans 12:2 “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, (making excuses, blaming others, or quitting) instead LET God transform you into a new person by changing the way you THINK. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

Back to the story; when I moved into my friend’s house, I told him I would pay him $345 on the first of the month, every month.  I did not say, “Well, I will try my best to pay you if I can, but if I lose my job, or some freak thing happens, I may be late or only pay you a portion this month.”  No. I told him I would pay him the $345 on the first of the month, PERIOD. (I don’t know about you, but my words mean something when I say them.)  So, as in every situation, there is a choice to be made, here are your options:

  1. Allow your emotions, thoughts, and worries to take over, putting you in a panic, and basically handing your joy over to the devil, (Most people pick this option for some reason…)
  2. OR, you can say, “Ok, I told my landlord I would pay him, God You want me to honor my commitments, thank You for promising to meet all my needs, and giving me the power to get wealth, show me what to do. (Philippians 4:19 and Deuteronomy 8:18)

I picked option 2.  That same day, I noticed my neighbor’s yard, the grass was really high and looked awful.  I went and knocked on his door and asked if I could mow his lawn for $30. He said “sure.” Before I mowed that one, I went to the very next house, asked the same thing, she said “sure.” The next house was for sale, I called the realtor, she said “sure.”  Went down one more house, “sure.”  Went to the businesses next to the body shop, got 3 small yards, and then got a big yard in my parent’s neighborhood that paid $100.

Within 2 days, not only did I have more than enough money to pay my rent, but my roommate and I now had a small lawn business that we did on the side that brought in an extra $500 a month. I never panicked or lost my joy, I just got determined and did whatever it took. Oh, and eventually my boss made good on the bounced checks.

I have NEVER in my life been late on a payment of any kind. Whether it be to a bank or a person, I won’t allow it, and God won’t either, as long as you trust Him and do work.

I implore you with everything in me, pay your bills, pay them on time and don’t make excuses, even if the excuse seems totally reasonable.

Remember, you represent God, don’t forget that. If you owe someone money and don’t have all of it, pay them something. NEVER, ever, let a bill go by without putting something on it, even if it’s just $10.

When one of my tenants at my rental property doesn’t pay or gives me an excuse of why they don’t have the money, I tell them this story in hopes of encouraging them.  But it seems the truth usually comes out all too quickly, the first thing they always say, “Oh, well, I don’t have a lawnmower.”  Making an excuse, and totally missing the point.

I wish they could see the truth in their excuses: They don’t want to hustle, they want to quit.

They don’t want success, they want comfort.

There is always a solution, and God will gladly give it to you, but you cannot just lie down and quit.  The world is full of losers, don’t be like them, let God transform you into a winner.

Commit right now to change the way you think. You will see results instantly, you can do it, God is with you.

-Travis Peters