Thursday, July 31, 2008

Pulling Weeds

My husband and I have a fairly traditional (some would say old-fashioned) system when it comes to ‘duties’ around the house. Generally (since I quit working), I handle the cleaning, laundry, care of the children, etc. and he takes care of the home maintenance and all things outside (in addition to putting a roof over our heads and food on the table…those things alone are huge!). This is not to say we don’t share duties. Yet, when it comes to crossing over, he definitely gets the short end of the stick. My wonderful husband is often found vacuuming, doing laundry, cooking, etc. This past weekend alone, he cleaned all the floors, did the laundry, grocery shopping, yard work and everything for the kids while I was away. How blessed am I? I can count on one hand (and I don’t even need the whole hand) how many times I have jumped in and helped with ‘his’ work.

Several weeks ago I did attempt to give my husband a helping hand. While he was at work, I set out to pull some weeds. I ended up with cracked and bleeding hands and a sore and sunburned back. I got the weeds out (mostly), but I was pulling with all my might and still struggled to make progress.

The next week, I watched my husband pull weeds in another area of the yard. He turned on the hose, put it in the flower bed and let the water soak the ground before pulling the weeds out in what seemed an effortless manner. Aha! A light went off.

So, the next week, I set out to help once again. It had only been two weeks, but I had to begin where I had worked before – I left so many roots with my previous weed-pulling endeavor, they had all grown back with a vengeance! This time I was all the wiser and made sure to soften the soil with water before beginning my extractions. As I worked away I began to see the spiritual application in my life. I later found this great description of weeds:

“Because weeds are found where we don’t usually want them, controlling them is a serious matter. Many of us spend untold amounts of time and money to eradicate unwanted greenery. Weeds are invasive and, in many ways, noxious to our garden. Typically weeds destroy the habitat they dwell. They reduce the opportunities for the grass to grow and cause displacement of plants. Weeds usually reduce options and diversity in the garden by over taking the entire area with one species of plant (them). Thus, weeds can disrupt the natural flow of an area and can ultimately be costly. In essence, a weed can suck the life out of your garden if kept unchecked.
As with our garden, we have weeds in our personal lives – bad habits, inappropriate or misguided opinions of ourselves or others, procrastination, or even lack of organization. Such weeds can manifest themselves through lack of motivation or passion and can be found in our belief system in how we see ourselves. They can suck the joy out of our lives and cause us to live in an environment that is otherwise foreign and uncomfortable. Like weeds in the garden, our “life weeds” consume valuable resources, energy, and emotions that are otherwise essential to living a joyful and productive life. In order to get rid of the weeds, we must uproot them and replace them with positive thinking, accountability, resources and opportunities that will ultimately help us blossom into a productive and joyful life.” (
Philip A. Foster)

In reading the Word, I see that basically, anything that does not follow the guidelines of Philippians 4:8 (which addresses thoughts, but also applies to actions and attitudes), is a weed growing in our lives.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

So often it is painful (sometimes murderous!) as those weeds are removed from us. Regular watering (feeding through the Word and time with the Lord) is important not only for preparing and maintaining the ground needed to produce fruit, but also to allow for easier extraction of those things we should not be growing in our lives. How often is the soil of our lives as hard as a rock, hanging on to the weeds that are imbedded so deep? For me, more often than I care to admit.

Lord, please remind me of the importance of regular, daily time with you. Order my time, my schedule and my life so that I will make time spent with You my first priority. Keep the ground of my life pliable, soft and fertile so that that it can produce fruit and maintain an environment where you can remove that which is not healthy or pleasing to You.

2 comments:

pondering said...

Awesome!
Practically, I have need of large weed eradicating from my back yard, and have set tomorrow aside to tackle that project. My backyard is unlandscaped and hundreds of weeds have not only taken over, but have grown as tall as 3-4 feet.
I tried all spring to go out and pull them as they popped out, but everyday there were dozens more, soon it was hundreds. I couldn't keep up!!
I can see the correlation from this to our spiritual lives. Not only can weeds poison what we already have growing there, but they will fill every spiritual void in our life even quicker. So when we do get rid of the weeds, they must be replaced by a walk with God. If the ground is left unlandscaped (not filled by the fruit of God) than there is no limit to the upcoming weed invasion.

KRISTIN said...

Amen!

Practically, I hope that project went well! :)