Weed: “An herbaceous plant not valued for use or beauty, growing wild and rank, and regarded as cumbering the ground or hindering the growth of superior vegetation”
Most of you, if you’ve ever had a yard in your life, know what weeds are. And chances are, you hate them. They’re cumbersome. They grow like crazy, quicker than everything else around them. They’re ugly. They take up space, use up water, and absorb sunlight that other, more beneficial, more useful, more beautiful plants could be using. If you’ve ever tried to ignore them, what happens? Do they just go away? Obviously not. What about if you just mow them down? Does that make them go away? Temporarily, yes. Permanently, of course not. If anything, it makes them seem to grow quicker and we end up working harder, wearing ourselves out, just to keep them down. Weeds are nothing more than the results of the roots from which they stem. So how do you get rid of weeds?
Get to the root.
We all have junk in our lives. We all have things in our lives that we wished we didn’t do or things that we wish weren’t a part of who we are. However, we have to come to an understanding that not only do those things have roots in our own lives, but that those things have very real roots in the lives of others also. We have done things, or others have done things to us that cause us to do what we do, think what we think, etc. When we are able to come to grips with that, we can begin to have more grace for other people (and ourselves), and be slower to make hasty judgements and generalizations. I wrote more on that here so I won’t keep going into that.
Ignoring the habits, hurts, and hang-ups in our lives does not make them non-existent. Sure, out of sight out of mind, but when you finally decide to open the front door, you know very well that you’ll be faced with a yard seemingly impossible to weed. Too often we just try to mow the weeds in hopes that others won’t see them. We put on a smile, brush our hair, wash our hands, and act like we don’t have serious hurts in our lives. All the while, behind the scenes, we’re working overtime to keep the weeds down to save face and not be found out. But deep down, we know it’s temporary. Before we know it, those weeds will come creeping back into our lives. When the lights are out. When no one is around.
Jesus doesn’t play games when it came to root issues. In Mark 9:42-48, he talks about gauging out eyes, cutting off hands, and other crazy things if they cause you to sin. He says it’s better to enter heaven with one eye/hand/whatever-else-you-cut-off than to enter hell with both. Now, he doesn’t mean to literally cut those things off/out; he is just really serious about getting to the root issues.
If you’ve ever done any weeding, you know it’s tough work. Getting to the root and getting the weeds out of our lives is equally as tough. It takes some serious work. It’ll be messy. It’ll be draining. It won’t be a quick process. People in your life will likely see you struggle. You may end up smelling terrible. And when you’re too tired to keep going, allow the Gardener to take over. But when it’s all said and done, when the weeds are out, when the soreness wears off, something really incredible will happen. The weeds will leave bare soil. Soil where real beauty can begin to take root. Rich, fertile soil that can begin to feed the good that now has the freedom to grow. Lingering weeds may still want to grow, but when they do, now they’ll be much easier to deal with since the other weeds have been uprooted. You’d have been there, done that.
Like I said, this won’t be an easy process, but it’s a process that HAS to take place. You’ll never know the good your life could be used for until you uproot the weeds in your life. Make room for the flowers.
These thoughts were inspired by a sermon I heard this past Sunday when Pastor Brent spoke on this topic, more or less, at Pearl Street Church.