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There I sat with my glass of tea in hand, sunglasses on and music blaring in my ear buds with what seemed to be a dead mower. I had been on the mower for a while trying to catch up. The rain had been wonderful to receive, but the downside is that the grass grows faster than I have time. I had already done the front and side yards and was moving to the back. I knew mowing the backyard was risky because of all the child elements involved, but it had to be done. I was rocking along when the mower just stopped. I moved it to a low spot where I could get a visual on the mower deck.  At first glance I couldn’t see anything.  However, when I looked closer I could see that a piece of rope had been caught by the blades and wrapped itself up around the shaft. You would think that the blades would just cut the rope and this would have never happened. There seems to be some strange effect when rope is introduced. Instead of just cutting through it, the mower get entangled. Until the rope was cut off and unwrapped there would be no more progress.  I was stuck.

Have you ever felt stuck? You have been rocking along in life when you get all tangled up.  Maybe it is a relationship, or sex, or pills, or gossip, or something else.  Each of us have a “rope” that when we try to mow over it causes us to get stopped. What do we do?

1.  Check the yard before you mow.  I run into trouble when I skip this step.  If I would take the time to make sure where I was going to mow was clear of all problems then I would not be having to crawl under and work on the mower.  Everyone of us have our triggers.  Begin to see what triggers you.  Do your best to avoid those triggers.  Clear them out through accountable relationships, better choices, and sometimes simple avoidance.

2.  Look ahead not right in front.  Sometimes I get to singing along with the music and use the steering wheel as a makeshift drum set.  When that happens I forget to keep looking ahead and can run over stuff like a rope, or hose, or wire, etc.  I see this happening in our lives constantly.  We get so involved in the moment that we forget to keep our eyes ahead and run into trouble.

3.  Unwrap the rope.  When you do get tangled up prepare to spend time getting unstuck.  Because the blades spin at such a high-speed the rope gets wrapped extremely tight.  It will take a while to get it cut loose and taken off so that the blade spins properly again.  The same is true in your life.  We all get stuck at times.  For some it is a physical habit while others have an attitude or speech issue.  There are still others who deal with items such as sex and pills to cope with life.  Whatever is tangling you up needs to be removed as quickly as possible or progress cannot be achieved.

I could still ride the mower all over the yard and act like something is happening but it would be a lie.  When we are entangled the only option is to stop and fix the problem.  During that process I keep telling myself, “If I want to actually accomplish anything I must prepare ahead by clearing out the yard and staying focused. ”  We would be wise to do the same each day.

6 For we know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that sin’s dominion over the body may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, 7 since a person who has died is freed from sin’s claims. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him, 9 because we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death no longer rules over Him. 10 For in light of the fact that He died, He died to sin once for all; but in light of the fact that He lives, He lives to God. 11 So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Romans 6:6-11