I started this post last summer and bumped into it a couple of days ago. Granted, it is the middle of winter, but hey! Perhaps a little gardening thought will warm us all up.
I was weeding yesterday afternoon and discovered these principles about weeds. Previously I’ve described some of their characteristics – like – the longer we let them live, the riskier is their extraction. Yesterday I was pulling cleome (spider lily) by the 1000’s from my perennial bed. Also some other nasty summer weed.
So, where exactly do all these stinking weeds come from, anyway? Simple – they come from the seeds that last year’s plants dropped by the bazillions. Same thing for us. Where do our selfish thoughts, our impure thoughts, our careless and thoughtless actions come from? Last year’s seeds – habit.
What’s the lesson? I can clear the garden of weeds today and look and see it nice and tended. but the seeds are there. they will germinate. so I have to weed again and again and again. So it is with our lives. We can quit doing something, and look and feel good, but the seeds are there and will germinate.
What are we to do? Here’s one answer. Several years ago I got a load of fresh manure from Farmer Brown down the road. Nice stuff. Spread it all over. A couple of weeks later these nasty weeds started sprouting everywhere. Thorny. Ugly. Hard to pull. But every time we saw one, out it came. This year I’ve seen maybe two. Point – we got them out before they flowered and went to seed. So it is with sin and bad habits. Attack them full head-on. Lean into them. Root them out – without delay, so they don’t have time to establish roots or flower and make seeds that will come back again and again.
A couple of more weed/life thoughts:
When are weeds easiest to pull? Right after a rain shower. How is our thought life dealt with best? Right after a rain shower – the living water of the Holy Spirit by spending time with God and His Word.
Where are they toughest to deal with? Right at the base of a good plant; they seem to hide there and get rooted in. Same with our lives – it is so easy for self-righteousness or other evil to creep in and establish itself under cover of goodness.
And finally – where do they grow the poorest? Under the shade of a stand of good plants. A healthy, flourishing bed of plants also tends to keep the weeds at bay. So we nourish and tend and protect our thoughts and actions – keep our good works glorifying God (and not ourselves), AND in community with others – we shade each other’s roots, making it tough for the weeds to get established. That’s why God gave us the church – a community of believers to help and protect one another, to hold one another accountable.
And you guys thought it was just a patch of weeds!