A Discouraging “Sea” of Weeds.

Have you ever unsuspectingly gone down a rabbit trail? You take one small step in one direction and next thing you know you’re engrossed in a project that you can’t stop until you finish? That’s exactly what happened to me when I got home from work last night. Walking to the front door, I glanced over to my small garden and there in a sea of green was one beautiful purple flower, the first to bloom from the seeds I planted earlier this summer.

Suddenly I realized that the “sea” was made up mostly of weeds that had filled in all of the space around the flowers, vegetables and fruits I had planted. I simply set out to clear the weeds from a corner of the garden. But, the next think I knew, I had dirt up to my elbows and my garden was transforming before my eyes. In the end I didn’t stop until the whole garden was cleared. But as I pulled and tossed the unwanted weeds, I couldn’t help but think of the incredible symbolism to life itself…

1. Weeding is intentional.

You don’t accidentally get rid of weeks in a garden and, they don’t go away by ignoring them. In fact, ignored weeds grow deeper roots and multiply. Choose to intentionally weed your life. Pull out the energy stealing, resource robbing, time consuming, and passion depleting activities that keep you from pursing your purpose.

2. It’s easier to weed in well-watered soil.

If you’ve ever weeded soon after a rain, you know how much easier it is to pull weeds from well-watered soil. Pulling unwanted plants from dry parched dirt is challenging. Often you tug but the plant snaps leaving the roots intact. The same is true in life. If there are areas of your life that you are trying to “weed,” water your soil by feeding your faith and nourishing your soul. When you do, you will find it is far easier to eliminate pesky “weeds” (aka habits or unhealthy choices) from your life. If your soul is nourished, you may find it easier to pull out the roots that once were secure under the surface.

3. Up close it’s easier to distinguish the weeds from the desired plants.

From a distance it was hard to tell where my plants and flowers started and where the weeds ended. Everything blended together. It wasn’t until I got up closer and got my fingers dirty that I could easily distinguish between my flowers and vegetables and the weeds that threatened to consume them. In our lives, sometimes we need to get a bit messy to clear the path for us to move forward. We need to dig in and pull up the roots of the things that try fill the spaces where they don’t belong. As you sort out your weeds, don’t be afraid to get dirt under your fingernails as you uncover the roots and free yourself from what had once threatened to take hold.

4. When you weed, you find unexpected growth.

Today as I weeded I uncovered the surprising length of my watermelon vines. Much to my surprise I found 3 baby watermelons that I previously didn’t know were there. The same is true in our lives. Often when we pull out something that doesn’t belong we find something that was hidden just out of view. Consciously work to clear the noise of life from your day to day and watch out for the unexpected.

5. Weeding provides room for new growth.

If plants could exhale, the ones in my garden did just that today. The flowers, zucchini, and especially the watermelon plants almost seemed to stretch and reach into the spaces that I cleared. Each has a much greater space to grow and flourish now that the overgrowth of weeds is gone. I can’t wait to see how the plants thrive with their new space. The same is true for us. When we clear out the clutter in our minds, lives, and spirits, we give God space to grow us in areas we can’t even imagine. Take a chance and provide space in your life for new growth.

I’ve never been much of a gardener but, I’d have to say I’m learning. While I appreciate the fresh vegetables and love making zucchini bread from the bounty, this year I’m appreciating the life reminders that have been part of the harvest. Can you relate to needing to pull weeds in life? When you’re trying to make a change does one of these help most, or what do you do to pull out the roots of weeds while encouraging new personal growth? Click to comment, I’d love to hear from you!

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