By all accounts, it is the most perfect afternoon. Imagine: The sun has crested for the day and its late afternoon, about 75 degrees, and a gentle breeze is wafting in the air. There is not a cloud in the sky. Every fiber of my being is saying “You’re off duty now, grab a cold drink, put your feet in the wading pool, and enjoy the afternoon.” But there is also another voice to be heard. “Weed me”.
If you have ever owned a home (with a yard) you know what I mean. Despite our most heroic efforts of landscaping and design, our beautiful gardens and yards demand attention on a regular basis. Bushes need pruning, flowers need to be dead-headed, and weeds need to be pulled. Its an arduous job, sometimes on hands and knees. Occasionally we have to reach into dark corners to reach the reclusive weeds, while other times they masquerade as flowers and we have to separate the desired from the undesired. And even with our best efforts to protect ourselves, sometimes weeding is painful when thistles and thorns pierce our heavily gloved hands. Often after working hard, we feel the pain the next day with slivers and sore muscles.
As I complied with that latter voice I began to think about this weeding process and how it related to my life. Our lives are much like our yards. We like to have a beautiful yard and likewise we like to have a beautiful life. But like our yards, our lives need pruning and weeding also. The Lord is a master gardener but like any gardener knows, the best plants are made with proper pruning.
I began to think about the weeds in my own life and how I have to deal with them on a daily basis. If I ignore the weeds in my yard, they’ll never go away. They only get bigger and harder to deal with. So it is with my life-weeds. They too are sometimes hard to reach and hide stealthly in my dark corners. So also can they be painful to remove, but like real weeds, if they aren’t completely removed, they will surely come back. And sometimes, like real weeds, they also masquerade as flowers and attempt to compete with the good things in my life, all the while insidiously choking them out.
These life-weeds are sin. Plain and simple, these weeds need to be removed on a regular basis and no matter how often I weed my life, they keep creeping back in. While some weeds are extracated forever, there always seem to be another to replace it. Many are hard to recognize and all are hard to deal with. Callous thoughts and comments at work are a persistent one for the Chick. Its hard sometimes to find a nice thought to say about certain customers and I am working hard to just stifle what I am thinking instead of making it known. Enjoying the temporary while neglecting the eternal is another weed I have to pull. There ARE more, but listing my personal failures and flaws isn’t necessary, I know what they are.
The Lord has made it known that I am to be holy like He is holy. Its an impossible task, but one that I work on every day. By resisting the unholy, I will pull my life weeds out one by one, getting them all the way down to the roots. I don’t have to do it alone and I am grateful for God’s help. He doesn’t only weed my life, but he also provides the nourishment I need to grow. All food but no weeding would make a jungle like mess of a life. I think we have all seen the disasterous collapses of lives of certain celebrities in Hollywood that reek of “all-food-no-weeding”.
Weeding and pruning are seldom fun, but they are always necessary. The next time you grab a bucket and your gloves, I encourage you to contemplate about your own life-weeds, as I thought about mine today.