I had been spending hours every week sweeping the carport. It was either that or spend even more time sweeping the house as the sand was tracked in. With the blower I could get the job done in about five minutes, especially after I learned to handle the thing. You never turn it on pointed down, unless you want a face full of sand, and be careful any direction you turn if you don’t want to blow on what you just blew off. Even Chloe learned to keep her distance the first time I turned it on in her direction and for two days her fur looked like it had been caught in a hurricane blowing in the tail direction.
Perhaps the most obvious point is to always blow in the direction of the wind. I have quit trying to wait till the wind isn’t blowing, not out in the country in the middle of a field—I would never get it done. So I settle for the couple of hours the carport looks nice afterward, and remind myself how awful it would have looked if I had just let the leaves and sand pile up. But I have learned to test the wind. It is much easier to blow the leaves the way the wind is blowing them anyway. Otherwise it’s exactly like paddling upriver. You can do it, but it takes a whole lot more work.
But Christianity is not like a leaf blower. The converse of the leaf blower rule may be the best way to judge most decisions you have to make as a Christian. If it’s too easy, it’s probably the wrong decision. If it doesn’t cost you anything, you are probably selling your soul.
God has always expected his people to make tough decisions. By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward, Heb 11:24-26. Moses chose God instead of wealth and power.
Joseph chose prison instead of adultery, Gen 39:9. Ruth chose a life of poverty (she thought) so she could worship God and be a part of his people rather than the comfort of her own culture, Ruth 1:16. The apostles chose to follow an unpopular route that led to death, instead of staying in good graces with the powers that be and living a normal life. For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake…we [are held] in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things, 1Cor 4:9-13.
God’s people have always been challenged with this decision. “Choose this day whom you will serve,” Joshua demanded of Israel, 24:15. “How long will you go limping between two opinions?” Elijah asked in 1 Kgs 18:21. Make a decision, they were saying. We face the same challenge, and we face it every day.
If life has confronted you with a decision, I can almost guarantee you that the hard choice is the right one. You have to blow against the winds of society, and even worse, the winds of self. Christianity has never been the easy way out. Yet, when you set your priorities correctly and think in spiritually mature terms, it’s the only obvious one.
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life that you and your offspring may live, loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days… Deut 30:19-20.