Every summer, when my sister and I were growing up, we were given the task of weeding the mountain on the side of our parent’s property (ok, it was a slight HILL…but a kid’s perspective is much different!). Each morning, just before the California sun was beginning to emerge,our mom would arm us with weeding tools and send us out to tackle the dew covered mountain.
I hated weeding. I grumbled and complained the entire time- yanking those suckers out as fast as I could. I didn’t care that Gardening 101 stated that we should pull them out by the roots, or else they would continue to grow. All I knew was that every summer there was a mountain of weeds to pull anyway! I just wanted to get the chore done as fast as possible so I could get back to riding my banana seat bike with the cool FM radio.
Sorry, I digress…………..
While drinking my cup of coffee on the front stoop this morning, the sun begin to peek through the clouds and I watched the steam lift off the dew covered grass. The North Carolina humidity felt like 100% as I strolled through the yard, surveying the plants and trees that were soaking in the rain from last night’s shower. Then I saw them. Those pesky weeds!!! They must have hopped a 747 from California and planted themselves in our yard!!!! As I squatted down and began pulling them out God reminded me of all the roots my husband and I brought from our respective childhood homes. Most of them, unbeknownst to us, hopped right into our honeymoon luggage and planted themselves in the yard of our first home. And, every time we moved…you guessed it….they followed us!!!
A very wise friend once told me “we all have “weeds” that have grown in our soul since we were kids”…..and a lot of them hitch a ride into our marriages. Some “weeds” appear to look like a beautiful flowering vine. Others linger below the surface of the earth, but then push through the soil and quickly choke out everything around it. Then there are those nasty, thorny “weeds” that stand their ground as long as they can, b/c everyone is afraid to touch them. As the homeowner of these “weeds” we are responsible for getting those suckers out of our yard!!! Sure, we can spray them with weed killer, but that only stunts their growth for a period of time. Or, we can half-heartedly yank at them, and pull the tops off, leaving the root to continue to grow below the surface. But, the most effective form of weed control is to arm ourselves with the tool that the Master Gardener has given us: The Holy Spirit. He only is the only one that can uproot our “weeds.”
My husband can attest to the fact that I still HATE pulling weeds. When we moved to our current home, I struck a deal with him; he takes care of all the yard maintenance and I take care of the inside. Happily, he agreed, b/c he loves to go outside and piddle in the yard!! In the case of our personal “weeds”, though- one spouse can’t extract the other spouse’s weeds from the garden they share. “Weeding” has to be done on an individual basis, by allowing the Holy Spirit to expose and uproot the “weed” that needs to go. However, if one spouse refuses to allow any uprooting, their “weeds” will begin to choke out their spouses “weeds” (or any healthy growing plants that have been planted). When that happens, the spouse that has been tending the garden sees the slight hill grow into a daunting mountain, and usually decides it would be easier to take their remaining “weeds” to another plot of land.
Maybe you HATE weeding like I do. Or perhaps you’ve never taken a Gardening 101 class. As a fellow gardener in training, I suggest you meet the Master Gardner, and then find someone who can teach the class (a mentor, counselor, etc). Your yard (& your spouse) will thank you for it!
Now……let’s go pull some weeds!!!