When I planted my garden on Memorial Day weekend I had visions of the juicy, red tomatoes that would grow. I looked forward to the wonderful taste of fresh green beans and turning all those wonderful cucumbers into pickles.
I love fresh veggies from the garden.
But that requires work. A LOT of work. And I'm not a big fan of weeding. At first, I couldn't weed because I didn't quite remember where everything was and didn't want to pull the wrong thing. Then it rained or was very humid and I also am busy with many other things.
Then one day, I looked and my garden looked like this....
I've had plenty of opportunity to think of some life lessons as I have weeded this week. Of course, we are in the midst of a heat wave and so I've been out there very early each day and trying to spend at least a half an hour to an hour weeding.
It's hard work because I waited so long. Which brings me to some spiritual lessons.
1. Don't let weeds take root in your life. When you recognize a sinful behavior in yourself, deal with it immediately. Don't allow it to continue so that it becomes rooted and established as a pattern of behavior. Once weeds take root, they are very difficult to remove!
2. Sinful attitudes and actions that take root will begin to choke out the good in you. I noticed that my cucumber and beans were not thriving and that is because the weeds were taking all the nutrients from the soil. They were choking the very life out of the good plants.
Because I waited so long, I am now going to have to replant the beans and possibly the cucumbers because the weeds grew so close to these plants. When I tried to remove them, the vegetables came up too because they had not been able to grow deep, strong roots. Your spiritual life suffers this way when you allow sin to go unchecked. Ask God to reveal attitudes and thoughts in you that are unhealthy and work at removing those sinful patterns before they become prevalent in your life.
3. You can't cover up weeds that have taken root without removing them first. Someone suggested putting mulch on the weeds so they won't grow and I've been tempted to do that. However, once weeds have grown strong roots, you have to remove them. You cannot just cover them up because they are still competing with your vegetables. The same is true of sin. You can't just cover it up by going to church once a week or reading a quick word here or there from God's word. You have to get at the root and remove it. It takes effort and pain and sweat and tears. But once you remove it from the root, you will thrive and grow.
I've gotten quite far in the weeding process over the past few days, but it's been hard. Some of my vegetable plants have paid a price for my procrastination. I've wasted valuable time and resources by having to spend so much time doing this and having to replant some. I've learned lesson though.
Pull those weeds daily and they won't take root. As I've been weeding, I've also taken a garden rake and just run it quickly along each row that I've already done in order to keep the weeds from taking root again. It only takes a few minutes to do this and it's much easier.
I've accomplished quite a bit this week.
However, I still have more to do.
It has been a great time for me to spend in prayer and reflection too though and relearning some of these lessons.