Thursday, March 29, 2007

A Lawn Mower Miracle

by Kari Diane Pike

There’s nothing like getting into an unexpectedly cold shower in the morning to make you appreciate the simple things in life. But four weeks later, the water heater continued to malfunction and I became very cranky at the thought of another day of cold showers and boiling water every time the dishes needed doing. The sensible part of my brain reminded me to simply be grateful for having running water in the house, but when I tried to start our fairly new lawn mower, and discovered it didn’t work either, I completely lost my sense of humor and good will.

Over the next two weeks, I spent a great deal of time and energy fuming and fretting over cold showers, an overgrown lawn, and every other troublesome inconvenience life seemed to offer. Then I came across an article by Gary and Joy Lundberg about becoming a Miracle Family. Their words and testimony about the power of prayer touched and softened my heart. I repented of my lack of faith and for neglecting to take my troubles to the Lord. I needed a miracle, and although I felt to be an unworthy servant, I humbly knelt in prayer and asked Heavenly Father to forgive me and told him all my troubles. Just the act of speaking those words out loud helped to put my problems in perspective.

I felt a little foolish taking such worldly problems to the Lord, but I asked him to start the lawn mower. I asked him to help Doug fix the water heater. Then I got up from my knees, put on my gardening shoes, grabbed my sunglasses and got the lawn mower out of the garage. I wheeled it onto the front lawn, firmly grasped the handle of the rip cord and gave a mighty pull. Nothing happened; not even a sputter or a cough.

“Okay,” I thought, “Nothing happens without a little effort. I just need to have faith and do the best I can.”

I pulled again and again. Nothing. With aching muscles, I fell to my knees. I told Heavenly Father that I knew he could start the lawn mower if it was his will. I asked what I needed to learn before the mower would start. The words that came to me were,

“Read everything on the lawn mower.”

I searched the lawn mower thoroughly. Where it said “Fuel,” I checked the fuel. Where it said “Oil,” I checked the oil. I moved from part to part, each time pulling the cord to see if the mower would start and the problem solved. Finally, I found a part that said “Air Filter.” I carefully removed it, hoping I would be able to put it back together, and discovered it was filled with dirt and debris. I dumped the contents and cleaned out the filter. I put everything back together and with all my strength, pulled on the cord. I nearly fell on my backside. The lawnmower jumped forward as the engine roared to life.

A few days later, Doug tried to use that mower in the backyard. He could not get it started. He had to take it into a mechanic for a tune-up and extensive repairs. I knew I had truly experienced a miracle. It required faith and effort, but it was a miracle, none the less. And I wonder, what was the greater miracle; a working lawn mower, or my softened heart and enlightened mind? The answer is simple. Read and follow the instructions!

4 comments:

  1. Great story, Kari. I heard it said from the pulpit that we Mormons don't expect enough miracles, so we don't experience as many as we could. I've been praying that my van's electric window will roll up so I will quit being blown away, and so I will avoid the repair bill to get it fixed. Well, I've been praying for a week and trying to show faith, but I'm still getting blown away. Thank you for your timely reminder.

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  2. Kari, you amaze me with your faith and willingness to listen and learn. You are a great teacher to me.

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  3. What a great story, Kari! And so well told. The great thing is that it's down in print, too, and years from now, when so many other things have overlaid this experience and pressed it down into forgetfulness, you can read it and experience again the wonder of the moment.

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  4. I have a similar story about a set of keys. Maybe I'll write about that on my next blog. I'm so glad you reminded me again of the power of prayer and Heavenly Father's willingness to hear and answer our prayers.

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