By Pastor Christie John
Whew! My vegetable garden is finally (mostly) planted. It’s not a very big patch, maybe fifteen feet square, but I have to admit that it sure felt like a football field while I was in the midst of getting it ready. The worst part was digging out the quack grass. Quack grass gets my vote for Public Enemy #1! It doesn’t seem all that bad at first…those slender green shoots look like they’d be a piece of cake to pull up. But when you give them a tug, you’re likely to just snap off the plant at the surface. Dig a little deeper and it’s not hard to understand why this weed is so invasive…the roots are much thicker and sturdier than the plant itself and they creep under the ground for miles it seems, happily branching off and sending up new growth all over the place. Even if most of the root is pulled out of the ground, any little leftover bits just take hold and keep growing. AARGH!
Getting all those roots dug out was back-breaking work…but I really only have myself to blame. You see, I got busy last fall and stopped being vigilant. I saw the weeds growing, but thought, “I’ll just take care of it next spring.” Big mistake! Just a few weeds here and there quickly turned into big clumps of matted roots that, if left unchecked, would rob my veggies of important nutrients and leave them vulnerable to pests and disease.
As I yanked out root after root this spring, it occurred to me that there are certain habits in my life that are an awful lot like quack grass. Procrastination, mindlessly surfing the web, playing computer games instead of exercising…these habits may seem harmless enough at first. But if I let them go, they are likely to take root, get harder and harder to remove, and if left unchecked will even threaten my health and well-being. The Bible tells us that as soon as we find ourselves falling into these destructive habits – Scriptures call them “sins” – the best thing to do is to confess them to God, seek forgiveness in the name of Jesus, and ask the Spirit to help us yank them out of our lives….NOW.
I am glad that God knows how “weedy” we can get…and that God’s grace always gives us the ability to clear out that noxious stuff and begin a season of new life and growth!