Don’t Laugh

By Mark Hopper


Recently we had a clean up day to get ready for our church’s 50th birthday party.  There was one specific area on our property that really needed some sprucing up. The ground cover was thinning out and we agreed to order some new mulch and bark to make it look better.The area that we targeted was on the southwest edge of our property.  We refer to it as the “point” on the right side of the driveway that exits our site.  It is an odd shape – not quite a triangle but certainly not a clean square or rectangle.  One of the men agreed to order the mulch if I could just give him the dimensions of the area to be covered. The site was too large for a tape measure, so I simply walked over the space estimating that my step or stride would be about 3 feet long.  That is what golfers do on the fairway to estimate their distance to the green.  Find a fixed distance on the fairway and then “walk it off” to your golf ball.  By adding or subtracting your steps, you would get a pretty accurate distance to the green, sounded pretty simple to me.  So I “walked off” the length and width of the area to be covered with mulch and came up with a number that I shared with the man ordering the material.  He gave my estimate to the supplier and they ordered the bark / mulch. I was a little surprised when I heard how many bags of mulch the supplier was sending, Using the information I gave him, he estimated that we would need about 400 bags of mulch.  Four hundred bags!!  That was certainly more bags than I thought we would need, but remember, I was only the “estimator”.  The mulch man was the expert.  Who was I to question his knowledge and experience?When I told our crew of volunteers how many bags that we had ordered, they laughed!  Four hundred bags of mulch for that small area.  They all thought I was crazy.  But, it was too late to back down now.  The delivery truck was on the way with 400 bags of mulch and bark. When the delivery truck arrived at our church, it was loaded with pallets of material.  Most of it was for us!  It was a full-size 18 wheeler flat bed truck.  I can’t even describe how big it looked piled high with pallets of mulch!  The truck was so big, it had difficulty pulling into our parking lot! Did I mention that the truck driver had to use a fork lift to off load the pallets onto our parking lot?  I think there were 4-5 pallets.  Each of them taller than any man on our crew.  Four hundred bags of mulch on 4 or 5 pallets taller than us.  That was an impressive sight! Fortunately, the crew of volunteers took it all in stride.  They continued to poke fun at me for my extravagant estimate but they graciously unloaded the bags of mulch and spread them over the target area.  We all agreed that the new mulch and bark looked great. As we neared the end of the project, I did point out to the team that we were not short on materials!  We had plenty of mulch!  In fact, we had enough mulch to also fill all of the flower beds at our church with a plenty to spare!  I’m sure that the event committee was pleased to see 400 bags of new mulch enhancing the appearance of our property just in time for our 50th birthday party. I think we all can learn a lesson from this experience.  When in doubt, order more than less.  Trust the experts.  Trust your instincts.  Don’t worry if you order too much mulch.  My new slogan is, “You can never have too much mulch”! Let me again invite you to our church’s 50th birthday party on Saturday, October 21st.  Free food and activities begin at 1:00 PM with the main event from 4:30 – 6:00 PM.  I hope you will come and enjoy this special day with us.  And, come see the new mulch, too!


Pastor Mark Hopper

Efree Church of Diamond Bar

3255 South Diamond Bar Blvd


Sunday Services: 9:00 & 10:45 AM


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