It was a hot evening to mow, but I wanted to help some friends by mowing their for-sale house. I was dirty and sweaty when I got home, so I decided I might as well mow my own yard as well. I trimmed, then pulled my mower onto the driveway. I noticed a neighbor walking toward me. I had seen him outside his house but hadn’t met him since I moved. He introduced himself, then offered to mow my lawn the next morning.
He explained he was retired and mowed several yards on our end of the street and he didn’t mind mowing mine at all. He said it would take him no time at all with his riding mower, he’d be happy to do it for free, and he pointed out it was too hot to be mowing.
Yes, it was. I appreciated his generous offer but explained that I enjoy mowing and could take care of it that night but would definitely keep the option in mind in case I had a particularly busy week sometime.
What a blessing. I got to know one of my neighbors because of his generosity. We briefly talked about the neighborhood, and he let me know a few more names of people I hadn’t yet met. I enjoyed the connection. Before walking home, he reminded me of his standing offer and let me know he could finish in the morning whatever I couldn’t get done before dark.
As I continued to mow (and finish up just as daylight disappeared), I thought about something I prayed often through the moving process. I asked God to guide me in how I could influence my neighborhood, as well as to be open to how my neighborhood would influence me. I have a lot more people to get to know, but I trust God will provide the opportunities in the years to come.
You are surrounded by people in your neighborhood, work, and many routines in your life. Pay attention. Refuse to become lackadaisical in your interactions. If you have dismissed some people at some point, hit the refresh button. They might have changed, and hopefully, you have, too. Of course, be wise in your interactions, but also be bold and patient. Living alongside others – in proximity or routine – will influence you. Anticipate the goodness.