Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: ONEROUS (03/02/17)
- TITLE: Pulling Weeds
By Ellen Carr
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This is not my favourite way to spend my time. I admit it. Knowing how easy it is to put off doing the weeding, I have scheduled gardening as a Wednesday morning activity. Yet, somehow I still manage to find myriad excuses to not do it. It's too hot, or too cold, or too windy. Or I mustn't get dirty before that twelve o'clock appointment. Or something pressing needs doing inside the house or on the computer. But today I've bitten the bullet and I'm working my way along this flower bed, pulling out weeds.
Because, somehow, this task hasn't been done for a few weeks, and because the weather has been warm and wet, the weeds have taken off like bolting horses. I begin my attack by pulling off the climbing weed that has worked its way up through the camellia bush and amongst the salvia. This is the weed that would take over altogether if it got a chance. And it has had a fairly strong chance over the past few weeks.
As I grab and pull, grab and pull, I think of the 'weeds' in my life, the things that have taken hold and threaten to squash out the fruit-bearing part of me. Like this climbing weed, some wrap themselves around my good thoughts and seek to strangle them.
I move along to where runners of grass from our lawn have strayed into the garden bed, with a vengeance. They have sneaked under the barrier, put down new roots, then sent up strong grassy leaves. As I pull them out they resist strongly and then give way, bringing a long root system with them.
These are like the resentments in my heart. They sneak in when I let my guard down, when I'm not asking God to 'lead me not into temptation'. They build on my perceived hurts, and as I nurture them they grow and put down strong and bitter roots. Pulling them out is painful. I need the help of The Gardener in this removal work. And, it hurts a bit.
Now I turn my attention to the weeds that have crept in amongst the rose bushes. They are the same sort of weeds as the others, but pulling them out is a whole different art. As I pull on them I try to keep my arms from being snagged on the rose thorns, and it doesn't always work. Today a rose thorn catches my skin and draws blood. How can such beautiful things be such vicious guards of their territory?
And so it is in my life. There is opposition to the pulling of weeds. The Evil One makes it hard to weed out the things that mess up my relationship with the Lord. He wants those resentments, that gossip, that negativity and that critical attitude to remain. He wants the weeds to crowd out the fruit of the Spirit - a loving attitude, a forgiving spirit. He wants me to give up the weeding, and not to allow The Gardener to do his work in me.
The longer the weeds in my garden bed are left to grow, the bigger and stronger they get. So do the weeds that grow in me. What I need to do is to invite The Gardener to point out the weeds in me, and to do it often, even daily. Then I need to cooperate with him in his gardening work, time and time again.
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