On a Lawnmower for Love

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2016


There once lived a man named Alvin Straight. He lived in Iowa. His brother Henry lived in Wisconsin. Alvin loved his brother. In 1994, at the age of 80, Henry had a stroke. Alvin, in his late 70’s himself, could not imagine not being there for the brother he loved, but he had no driver’s license and he was uneasy about forms of public transportation. So Alvin climbed aboard his riding lawnmower and set out on a 240-mile journey that would eventually lead him to Henry.

The road was anything but easy, going all that way on a lawnmower. He broke down several times. He ran out of money. Day after day passed, Alvin traveling at a speed of 5 mph most of the time. But nothing could have stopped Alvin from getting to his destination. The love of his brother was a greater power than all the hardships combined. After nearly six weeks, he finally got to his brother.

Alvin’s story is an amazing one. What Jesus asks us to do because of our love of Him is amazing as well. We are to take up our cross and follow Him, giving away all we have, even our very lives, so that we may be free to follow. The road is not easy and all of us fall and end up sitting on the side of the road. But our love of Jesus should be stronger than any force we could meet up with along the way. His love for us was stronger than anything He faced along His journey with the Cross. Just like Alvin, nothing could have stopped Jesus from completing His journey. Just like Alvin, we are called to make a similar journey and stay on course, regardless of the cost.

This entry was posted in Christianity, Commitment, Everyday Stewardship, Faith, family, Stewardship, the main thing, Tracy Earl Welliver and tagged , , , , by Tracy Earl Welliver. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tracy Earl Welliver

Tracy Earl Welliver is the Director of Parish Community and Engagement for LPi and an active member of Saint Pius X Catholic Church in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he previously served as Pastoral Associate for 22 years. Saint Pius X received the Archbishop Murphy Award in 2009 from the ICSC. Tracy is a writer, speaker, and teacher in the areas of stewardship, engagement, catechesis, and strengths theory, and has worked with Catholic communities throughout the US, Australia, and New Zealand. You can read Tracy’s Everyday Stewardship column in LPi’s CONNECT!, a bimonthly lectionary-based liturgy preparation publication. His writing can also be read on his Nutshell Blog, The Main Thing Blog, and in contributions to Catholic TechTalk. He also serves on the faculty for the ICSC Stewardship Institutes. Tracy has theology degrees from DeSales University and Duke Divinity School. He has been married 23 years and he and his wife, Mariann, have 3 children.

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