“Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so they did not bear grain.”
Saturday was the first time in over two months that we’ve had any rain. Couple that with the fact that the last few years, I haven’t had the money to apply fertilizer and weed killer to my lawn, and that my neighbor’s yard is more crab grass than real grass, and I’m sure you can guess what has creeped into my lawn.
And lots of them.
They started taking up residence in my plush, always green, fertilized and sprayed with weed killer/grass grower twice a year lawn a few years back. I had just recently lost my full time job and didn’t have the money to give my lawn the tender loving care it needed to stay at its peak.
So one by one, the weeds in my neighbor’s yard made their way over.
It wasn’t much at first. A small clump of crab grass here, a little clover over there. Even a vine every now and then would try to push its way through. It was barely enough to even worry about. I knew I would have an even better paying full time job soon, and could then afford to blast those nasty weeds back to the pits of hell from whence they came.
The only problem was, the job never came.
Which meant the weed killer and grass grower was never applied.
So the weeds lived on.
They set up residence.
And started multiplying.
The weeds had overtaken my lawn.
I spent a good portion of my morning on Friday, crawling around on my hands and knees in dry, brittle grass, trying to pull out the weeds that were successful in choking out my grass. My mailman laughed, my neighbor said said it was futile, but I was determined to pull every bit of crab grass and every pesky weed out of my lawn.
But after a little over an hour, I hadn’t even made a dent.
The weeds had won.
And as I stood up in defeat, wiping the dirt from my legs and vowing to return next weekend to take out their friends, I was reminded of Christ’s words in Mark:
Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain.
Weeds (and thorns) have one purpose – to choke out the plants around them. They push through the ground, begin stealing the water and nutrients from the ground, and attempt to wrap their roots around other plants. They seem harmless at first, but given time, they will overtake every bit of grass, flower, or plant in your yard and leave you with nothing but weeds. One weed easily becomes an epidemic.
The same is true of the weeds in our lives.
Allow that weed of anger to grow in your heart, and it will choke out your compassion. Harbor thoughts of bitterness, and they will choke out your joy. Continue to compare yourself to others, and that weed will choke out your self esteem. Allow the weeds of lust, jealousy or pride to remain and they will quickly leave you unhappy, depressed and pulling away from others.
Left unattended, the weeds of sin and doubt will overtake your life, choke out the good fruit and character you spent years trying to build, and leave you angry, full of hatred and pride, and stuck in the sin you never really wanted.
And so, my brothers and sisters, as you come face to face with the weeds in your life, may you remember how detrimental they can be. May you find the courage to face the hard work of pulling them out. And may you find grace and mercy to see the fruit in your life begin to grow.
Pulling out some weeds…