No formal church service for me or the Farmer, yesterday.
But, oh how the Lord teaches me His truths straight from the garden.
As I tilled the long 100+ ft. rows, I had ample time to ponder – weeds.
*What happens when they are allowed to take root.
*What happens after they take root and begin to grow.
*And then, what happens when they have taken over, completely.
Jesus told parables in such a way that were simple, yet profound. The Word is not hard to understand, in fact it’s almost too simple for highly intelligent First World trend-setters such as ourselves.
Did you know that if soil is prepared properly; plowed, tilled, cultivated at just the right time there’s a good possibility a garden could be . . . weedless? Yes. Without weeds. No weeds. You heard me, correctly. Timing, preparation, forethought, and planning are key. Weeds are simply not allowed to take root if soil is cultivated consistently. But, this takes time. Commitment. Discipline.
However, if the Farmer (& his wife) become lazy in cultivating the soil early on leaving the rows to themselves for any length of time, tiny sprouts begin to take root and, though they seem harmless, they grow exponentially. Since they’re small and low to the ground, they are mostly a nuisance at this point, just a minor distraction. They could easily be snuffed out once the Farmer runs the tiller through the rows where the fresh rich soil mounds up and covers them.
Then, the most concerning stage of weeds is when they’ve taken over the garden completely. They tower over the Farmer’s good plant keeping the SUN from shining on it. They’re so big at this point they compete with the good plant for water and nourishment from the soil. At this stage, it’s quite possible the good plant could shrivel and die.
I couldn’t help but relate this simple garden principle to our daily lives.
Life is full of weeds, isn’t it?
If we’re not carefully tending to our own fields with the Word, we allow the weeds of life to take root. What are your weeds? Busy-ness? Unrealistic expectations? Control? Perfection? Excessive/Compulsive financial gain? The need to keep up with the Joneses? Worry and Doubt? Dysfunctional family and/or friends? Meaningless distractions? (Think: social media) Sin? At first we don’t even notice them. We continue to “grow” our lives and bear good, yet stressed, fruit. We hardly even know they’ve taken root.
But as weeds begin to grow, our garden of life becomes crowded. We’re agitated, frustrated, frazzled, and overwhelmed because the weeds are beginning to cause some discomfort. We learn to live with them not even realizing they’re taking over. We justify them and re-arrange our lives around them. We actually “settle in” thinking we can co-habitate with our weeds!
Weeds don’t stop. They actually take over to the point that we can no longer see the Son. They have sucked us dry and any hope of nourishment from the soil is nil. Weeds are selfish. They are no respector of persons, …or feelings…or schedules….or goals. Weeds just do what they do best: Grow with no purpose, deplete life, and eventually – potentially – destroy any hope of good fruit.
Where are YOU today?
Are you cultivating your soil? Preparing, planning, looking ahead? Knowing the weeds are there, but committed to keep them from taking root?
Or, are they growing and you’ve become accustomed to living with them. Are you trying to ignore the fact that, one day, they will take over?
Finally, perhaps your life has been taken by the weeds of life.
You are choking.
You are thirsty.
You need good food. Nourishment.
You are shriveled up and can’t even see the Son.
If so, let me tell you something very important about weeds.
They have very short roots. They are not deep.
They are incredibly simple to pull up.
Weeds make a big – selfish – show but are basically useless.
Just pull them up. They are NOTHING.
They produce NO good fruit. They are a nuisance.
They cause pain, heartache, frustration, confusion, and needless brain clutter!
Give yourself a big ol’ bucket of Living Water.
Throw some nourishment on the soil of your life and point your face towards the SON!
THIS is the path that leads to LIFE.
“But the one who received the seed that fell on the good soil is the man who hears the Word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown.”
Matthew 13: 23