Spring arrives with blessings and curses. Daylight lasts longer, days warm up, plants grow. Consider those not only as blessings but also as curses. Why? Undesired weeds abound along with desired plants. While I put in a front patio with pavers and a lattice cover and pots and a drip system and plants, the weeds on our south bank took full advantage of my neglect and spring’s blessings. The curse of spring. Four days of weeding on a steep slope moved the undesired plants into four wheelbarrow loads, like the one above.
I couldn’t avoid seeing this as a spiritual metaphor. The weeds represent undesirable spiritual growth, the ice plant and others denote healthy growth. My goal: an optimal bank of ice plant and camphor tree and pygmy date palms and society garlic and agapanthus. And, an optimal spiritual life. Here’s how we can get there.
1. Delays endanger health. Ignoring issues, like weeds, merely lets them grow more. My patio project during the prime growing season cost me four days of work and a sore back and chiropractor and massage visits. Neglecting bad habits and sins and issues can bring more havoc than four days and a sore back. So, let’s try to take regular spiritual inventories, maybe even jot it down on our calendar or phone. Ask a trusted friend if they have concerns you might miss.
2. Weed and feed. I took most of the weeds out manually, but some will require a weed killer. Similarly, we can handle some spiritual weeds on our own, but for others we need God’s touch. Ask for it. And, we need to nurture the good parts of our lives. We feed them; we remove weeds that can suck up their nutrients and water. Other posts have dealt with feeding our soul, and you likely know how to do that.
3. Repeal and replace. Eliminating the weeds, particularly when rampant, will likely leave some bare spots, like the pic above. If we leave them bare and spread fertilizer, then the weeds come back, and for some perverse reason, stronger than the plants we want. My next step is to trim the ice plant and buy some more, to replant in those bare areas. Spiritually, as we eliminate our weeds, let’s create some new habits and patterns that will not only bring us closer to God, but will crowd out the old stuff.
Kick Starting the Application
Have you allowed some spiritual weeds to grow? Why? Has it been from general neglect, or laziness, or because you see some beauty in the weeds? When was your last spiritual inventory, to intentionally identify various aspects of your life as beneficial or detrimental? How do you determine that—your feelings and desires or what God tells us is best for growing? What one change can you make this week to eliminate a weed and encourage healthy growth?