I’ve spent 2 hours this morning weeding my flower beds and kitchen garden. Two hours! How did my garden get to be just a mess on May 22? Well I haven’t tended to it all spring and without attention – weeding, turning the soil, etc. those pesky weeds just kept growing. Growing so much that before I started this morning all I saw, when I looked at my garden, was weeds – no beautiful flowers (they are there), no pure black dirt (it’s there and the weeds love it). The weeds became the central theme of my garden. As I sweated, pulled, was bit by mosquitos, I realize maybe my garden had something to tell me.
It was then that I reflected on why the Scriptures so often use farming and gardening as metaphors for our lives. As I was pulling those weeds I thought about the parallel between my garden and my life:
First, my life is to be a garden, Christ’s garden, something that continues to grow and become more beautiful and fruitful each day, each season, each year.
Second, as in every garden, it will always need to be tended if it is to continue grow and become what it was created to be.
Thirdly, tending includes weeding. There will always be weeds in my garden and my life so I will never stop weeding. So I better start enjoying it for what it is.
Fourthly, the longer the weeds are allowed to grow, the deeper the roots and the harder it is to pull them out and to do it without damaging the good plants.
Finally, gardening is a process not a job with an end point, likewise our lives are a garden that is never completed and the joy of it is working it and seeing it develop and grow.
As I was pulling weeds I also began asking myself the some “weedy”questions about myself, questions we can all probably ask ourselves:
1. Do I have weeds (and by weeds I mean anything that is getting in the way of what my life could truly be, what God created it to be) in my life that need to be pulled? Answer – yes
2. Have I been pulling them out on a regular basis or have I left them to grow and spread as I did with my garden? Answer- I hope not but I better double-check (I can do this best by asking my wife Denise, she sees and lives with my pesky weeds and is honest to tell me what and where they are).
3. What and when I am going to go after those weeds in my life before they become the theme of who I am? Answer – I better start right now.
When I was finished pulling weeds I realized the two hours was much more productive than I had planned.