My Landscaping is not unlike my heart.
So, this season of life has rewritten a lot of things in our life. The household being one of them. For those of you reading this who are married, you understand how this works. Though the household is a joint responsibility of everyone, there are certain things that become the domain of the individual, at least primarily. For instance, I do a lot of the grocery shopping, lawn mowing, bill paying. Jen does a lot of the cleaning, pet care, and takes care of the garden and landscaping.
Oh, the way things change. Lawn care I understand. Mowers, power tools… these are things that I know and understand. Or at least I pretend to know them. But weeds… those deeply rooted, ingrown, overtaking everything weeds… these taught me a whole lot about myself, in some pretty profound ways.
These lessons aren’t new or earth-shattering. But they were pretty enlightening to me.
- Lesson #1… If it comes out easy, odds are you didn’t really get it. I fooled myself in my weed pulling excursion. At first things were coming up really easy, and I felt a bit of snarky pride. This isn’t so hard, I mused to myself. I wonder why this hadn’t been done sooner. And then I looked closer. Upon closer inspection, the grassy weeds had roots that went sometimes a foot or more to the radius extending out from the root that I so easily and smuggly “nabbed”. Oh. This isn’t is as easy as I thought. This is actually really hard. So it is in my own heart. Sometimes, I rejoice a bit too quickly in the “victory”… only to lament when day, hours, or (minutes) later my problems come back.
- Lesson #2… Sometimes good dirt gets thrown out with bad weeds. Be careful, I thought. You don’t want to upset the surroundings. HA. That lasted all of 5 minutes. Soil that is infested with weed roots may look dark and lush. But it isn’t. Sometimes, you just need to toss it out.
- Lesson #3… Ruthless weeding rips up everything, and exposes how deep the problem goes. I knew what i had to do. I had to get my hand up under the weed core, and lean back with all my might and pull as hard as I could. I was amazed at how much weed was pulled out when I went after the root of the problem. So many things were intertwined. But, I learned something else as well…
Perhaps the final lesson was the one that I learned at the conclusion of my weed pulling exercise. It is impossible to do all of the weed pulling in one sitting. I was exhausted. I was spent. I couldn’t finish the entire bed in one day.
Kind of like my heart. The garden of my heart will never stay weed free… and to keep the weeds at bay, it takes constant effort.
But, here is the difference.
In my heart, I can only see the weeds, and cry out for help. Sometimes, I don’t even know they are there until they are being pulled out. Jesus through the Holy Spirit must come in and show me the weeds, and through his power conform my heart in to the image of himself. I can only repent of my inability to stop the weeds, and trust Jesus to constantly rip the weeds from my heart. Because my heart cherishes the weeds. But Jesus cherishes me.