Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Gardening with God
I'm not sure where weeds come from. My assumption is they came because of the fall of man. Romans tells us that all of nature is out of harmony with God, and will be until He restores all things. (I put volcanoes, earthquakes, droughts etc. in the same slot, maybe as part of the discipline of Adam. God's intent is that from our struggles with the weeds of life we will grow more dependant on Him and also wiser)
As careful as Susan and I are to keep an attractive garden, we wrestle with weeds regularly. I think of weeds as pictures of the dysfunctions in my life. For whatever reason, we continue to work against the adversity of stuff like anger, resentment, over-responsibility, fear etc. I've been at it for almost 60 years and still struggle every day to overcome stuff that I should have dealt with as a child. It's like the weeds in our garden, you'd think there would be a point where we could say "Ah, finally the soil in my flower garden is pure. There are no more weeds to deal with ever again!", but not so.
Then as bad as the daily little things that mess up the soil of our souls are, somtimes we discover, or somebody kindly points out, a glaring weed that has been growing for years and we hadn't even noticed it. My friend sent me this picture from her garden last week. She found this huge weed that had been proliferating in the shadow of her beautiful shrub. It reminded me of something as devious as pride that might be growing under the cover of generosity or of kindness. God reminds us that our hearts are very deceitful--we can be doing some thing quite virtuous, and at the same time be allowing a rogue motive to grow alongside the good that we are doing. The picture caused me to think and examine my own motives again.