Weeds

The Furry Guy is great with plants. I’m not. We do talk about plants a lot, though. I’ve often said that I think many, many weeds are very pretty. I believe they would be considered flowers if they were difficult to grow. Since they grow incredibly easily, they get little respect and are considered weeds.

Not long ago we were at a beautiful garden park in Ohio. We got to chatting with one of the volunteers who happened to be doing some weeding. I shared my theory. She had an interesting response. She said that in their training to work in the park they are told that a weed is any plant that is growing where it is not intended to be. In other words, the most beautiful rose, orchid, or lily could be considered a weed if it were growing in, say, a vegetable garden.

This morning I was taking a walk. I was admiring the Queen Anne’s Lace along the side of the road—a ubiquitous weed in our area. That’s when I started thinking about the weeds that can grow in a person’s life—things that aren’t necessarily bad, they’re just not where they need to be.

For instance, my mom lives in Florida. During the winter months, when the snowbirds are in residence, the community in which she lives has a choir. The choir sings at the camp meetings that go on in the local Christian camp. Mom sings in the choir. A few years ago she was complaining that she was absolutely exhausted and would be glad when the choir was finished. I suggested that maybe she should not participate in the choir the next year. She was adamant—the choir wasn’t a bad thing. Well, no, the choir is actually a very good thing. That doesn’t mean that she has to participate. She is still running herself ragged and often making herself sick adding the choir to her winter schedule. Sounds like a weed to me.

There’s nothing wrong with television, unless it keeps you from getting done what needs to be done. There’s nothing wrong with golf, unless it becomes the main focus of your life. Work is a good thing, unless it becomes an obsession. Church is a very good thing, unless it takes gets in the way of a personal, active relationship with God.

I spent some time on my walk thinking about where weeds might be sprouting up in my own life. Just like weeds in a garden, if you take care of weeds in your life when they’re small they’re easily plucked out. Once they’re allowed to grow and really dig those roots in it takes a lot of work to rip them out, and they’re likely to grow back.

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