How are you at weeding? I'm hopeless - after five minutes I have given up completely!
Weeds are a pain - just when you think you have the garden looking reasonable, along they come with their baggage and just move right on in and before you know it they have taken over completely.
My sweet Mum-In-Law was the very best gardener I have ever seen - her garden was the epitome of neatness - the flowers were breathtaking and it was a delight to just walk around and take it all in. Did it come easy? NO way - she worked hard to achieve success and it showed - the result? Just beautiful!
With gardening you have to work at it - constantly removing weeds, pruning, mulching and watering - it never stops a constant cycle of work - but certainly worth it.
I sometimes look at our garden and just sigh... Yes sometimes it looks fantastic and so beautiful and I can thanks my long-suffering and patient wife for her diligence and eye for detail - it's hard enough for me just to mow the lawn!
Weeds need to be controlled and got rid of as soon as they appear - if you let them go you only court disaster.
This lesson can be brought into your life. Jesus told a story in the Bible about the sower who sowed his seeds and the types of soil in which the seeds landed.
One lot of seeds fell on pretty good ground actually - and they sprang to life nourished by the good soil and the cooling rains.
Unfortunately though the good soil and the cooling rains also helped to germinate the weeds and thorns and before long the good seed was consumed entirely by them - nothing left!
How can we take this on board and how can this age-old story help us in today's world of the 21st century? Actually it has never been more relevant than it is today.
Just like the seeds sown in the ground - so is our life. Whatever we focus our attention on will grow. If we focus on Christ and His amazing mercy and grace - His forgiveness and love for others that is what will take root in our hearts and grow.
On the other hand if we focus our attention of the things of the world - just like the weeds, they will grow and soon take over our lives and in abundance!.
Proverbs 23:7 says "our hearts bring forth fruit of itself" in other words that which we let take over our lives is exactly what will happen. So.... we have to be very careful and pay close attention to the 'seeds' we let establish in our lives.
Don't know about you but our days seem to be choc-a-bloc with 'things'. We don't, it seems just 'drift' from one thing to another we gallop and the utter busyness of the day can sometimes overwhelm us.
Our lives can be consumed by 'things' and it seems to me the more 'things' we have in our lives, the more we often want - we often crave for company and the 'good' life - hankering for more and the more we get the busier we find ourselves.
Time spent with God becomes less and less as we cultivate the 'weeds' in our lives and soon we are reaping what we have cultivated.
Our lives only reflect was has been cultivated and what has been given preference. Whatever we choose to fill our lives, that it exactly what will grow.
The 'weed' seeds in our lives can be planted whether intentionally or not and will soon take over if not rooted out.
Jesus said "The worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful" (Mark 4:19).
We can get so busy, even chasing after our kids, taking them here and there, in this sport or that, in this concert or that one. Music lessons, sporting clubs etc - our lives can be so full yet so empty!
In 2 Corinthians 10 Paul says "it is the very KNOWLEDGE of God that can demolish strongholds and makes every thought captive and obedient to Him"
Sure we can still enjoy the life that God has given us, but let's not get to the stage where the sheer 'busyness' of life consumes us entirely. God HAS to have the pre-eminence over everything, our time, finances even our children and family.
To weed properly we must set aside our desires and busy way of life and put them in the right order, giving God first place in our lives.