Van Yandell

Genesis 3:13 “And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.”

My yard is small so I use a push mower. There’s no point in owning a riding mower for such a small area and a riding mower also takes up more storage space.

Last week, I had gotten a little too far out into the woods where the grass had spread. A stump covered in pine needles just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Ka-wham! The mower instantly came to an abrupt stop.

I simply moved it off the stump, pulled the rope and it started as I expected it to. I finished the job and went on my way. The damage was done, but I did not realize the extent.

Yesterday, I decided the right-of-way along the road could use mowing. When I started the mower, I heard a rattling sound and after about 10 feet, the cutting ceased. Hmmm, I thought, something must be wrong! I actually thought the blade had come loose and all I needed to do was tighten the blade bolt and mow ahead.

Pulling the mower back to the pavement, then lifting it up to see the problem, the blade, blade bracket and adapter lay silently on the driveway. I surely had not noticed the adapter was in two pieces. It took about one whole second to realize what had happened.

The adapter is made with a cast key-way and when I hit the stump, it sheared. That particular part is cast of what appears to be an aluminum alloy. This design is intentional by the engineer/designer. Had that part not broken, hitting the stump could have bent the engine shaft and ruined the engine.

The entire mower could probably be replaced for the price of an engine. Unknown to most users, many products are designed with a weaker and less expensive part, actually designed to slip or break in order to protect the integrity of the entire product.

When I taught electricity in the industrial arts classroom, one subject was the study of circuit breakers and fuses. Those items are protection devices made weak for a purpose. It is much better to blow a fuse or kick a breaker than burn a house.

I nearly burned a new-construction house because a 20 amp breaker was faulty. It did not kick out when I unintentionally touched two wires together and the sparks flew. It actually welded the two pieces of copper together. I broke them apart to finish the light fixture installation and the sparks flew again. Why did the breaker not trip I wondered? In testing the breaker, it would not kick out. Had I not discovered it, the house could have, at some future date when a family lived there, burned to the ground.

Are we humans “built” with circuit breakers and other breakable parts? We fit perfectly into place with God’s plan. First, there was creation. Next, mankind was introduced into the equation; then sin, called “the fall of man.” Fourth, the requirement of redemption was provided through Christ Jesus. With redemption comes salvation, and finally, eternity.

Our circuit breaker is guilt because of sin. Our human inclinations that lead to sin is the blade bracket on the mower. I’m not going to venture to say sin is good, but it is required for the full sequence. Were it not for sin, Jesus sacrificial death on the cross would not have been necessary. Notice in the above paragraph, sin came after the creation of mankind and before the need for a savior. Also, keep in mind, sin is a human action but a supernatural concept.

This six step process of existence is simple yet the complexities of it are both mind boggling and inspiring. We may know we were created with a plan and a purpose. We were also designed with a weaker part that will break before the entire body and soul suffer a complete system failure.

I have often used the scripture Roman 3:23, “For all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.” It must be pointed out, especially if young children are in the congregation, this doesn’t mean you are a mean, evil person. It simply means we are human and make mistakes. Sin is a part of the divine plan

Coming short of the glory of God is an interesting concept. In asking, what represents God’s glory we may get as many answers as people we ask. In the case of this verse in Romans, God’s glory is His righteousness. In order for us to realize this level of righteousness, we must first understand we cannot accomplish it on our own.

Isaiah 64: 6 tells us, “Our righteousness is like dirty rags.” There is no way we can make ourselves clean. First John 1:7 tells us we are “cleansed by His blood.”

As with the mower blade adapter, we are designed by God to need His forgiveness. That part of us that will fail is our human side that leads to sin. Many try to say, some sins are worse than others. I will admit I’d prefer someone steal from me than to kill me. But in reality, all sin is against God and requires confession, forgiveness and a reinstatement of our fellowship with God.

Sin can be compared to that weak part on the mower blade assembly or a breaker in an electrical circuit. We think of sin as a horrible thing, but it brings us to God for forgiveness and His righteousness. When our circuit breaker (sinful nature) trips, we must seek God to reconcile ourselves to Him.

I realize this article is controversial. I have written it for the purpose of motivating all to think. Sin is necessary for God’s plan to be complete. We are similar to the mower in that we all have this weak spot and that helps us to understand, we are not perfect but can be righteous only by the shed blood of Savior Jesus.