Ahhh! What’s better than some good ‘ol, de-stress time spent weeding in the garden? Ok, maybe a few things, but I’ll admit, sometimes that’s just what I need. The quiet, the breeze, the cool of the morning (or evening), the rhythmic task of dig-pull-throw-dig-pull-throw. It’s a task that doesn’t ask too much of my thoughts, so it gives me the away-from-everybody, introvert’s opportunity to sort out my thoughts.
On one of my evenings spent pulling up dandelions out of the lettuce bed I remembered something Tim had said to Erica and me last year when we had asked for his advice on the garden. He said, “The definition of a weed is anything that’s in a place where it doesn’t belong. No matter what the plant is, if it’s not in the space you designated for it, it’s a weed.” So in other words, if grass is in with the lettuce – it’s a weed. Likewise, if the lettuce starts growing in the neatly mowed grass – IT’S a weed. I remember feeling “mind-blown.” As simple as that is, I had never thought of it that way before.
As I sat there reflecting on that definition and trying to apply it to my weed-identifying and weed-pulling efforts, I also started to wonder about how I could possibly apply it to my life. “Oh Lord,” I started to pray, “what are the weeds in my life?” The “bad” weeds seem to be fairly easy to identify. I don’t mind pulling them up, and I don’t miss them when they are gone. But what about the ones that that are “good”? How do I recognize the ones that smell good, look good, and are useful when used properly, yet are choking me (or others) out in this season or place? These are the things that I want to nurture and let grow, and I don’t want to let them go. It hurts to pull them up. Then I step back a bit and realize that I’m trying to make something grow in the wrong season or the wrong plot of ground.
So what’s in a weed? And what are the weeds? I guess it boils down to this question: Am I desperate for control, or am I willing to let the Lord be the Gardener?