Monday, February 22, 2010

Note to Self: Remember the Weeds

Not to rub this in anyone's face or anything, but we enjoyed a lovely weekend out-of-doors in a calm, cool 60 degree environment. Not a snow flake in sight. However, there were lots of weeds.

We have a gravel driveway and over the course of the rainy season here in Oregon, we've had a number of weeds crop up in the rocks and gravel. It's one of my jobs to pull them out and so I trooped outdoors with Bookworm1 and Bookworm2 in tow and we I worked on the weeds. While I worked I thought about lessons that others have taught relating weeds to sin in our lives. You've probably heard the analogy before - you want to pull the weeds out when they are little and less prominent in the yard just like you'd prefer God to help you deal with the sin in your life before the problem becomes glaringly large and difficult to deal with. These were my thoughts as I was kneeling in the rocks plucking weed after weed after weed from the ground. I realized the following things:

* Even though some of the weeds were small, they still had quite the established root system going on. Some of the weeds had an amazing iceberg effect - they looked small on top but there was a network of trouble underneath!

* Clover. What's wrong with it? It's pretty. Who really minds clover and why not just leave it alone? (But even clover run rampant can ruin a driveway!)

* If a weed becomes too large, you actually change the landscape by removing it. Not only is it difficult to pull a large weed out of the ground, but it leaves a gaping hole in it's place and you have to rearrange rock and dirt to fill in the void and it takes a while for the hole to fill and take on a normal, functional appearance again. Better to pull out the weeds when they are small, before they created a larger problem.

* Inevitably there will be an excitable three year old nearby (in actuality or in apparent maturity levels) who apparently has nothing better to do with their time than to point out all the little microscopic weeds you missed. As I was developing my Glare Stare at my three year old, I thought to myself how much easier it is to suggest that the person go and play than it is to say, "Oh thanks! I would have missed that one if not for you!"

* Even though said three year old would be very willing to help you remove that tiny little weed (or maybe even the big one if he's feeling generous), the only thing he's really good at is taking care of the visual top layer. The real work has to be done by myself (with God's help) and not by people who can only pluck leaves and point out problems. (Reminder to self: Don't be the three year old!)

* The least helpful person is the one who watches you struggle along and only offers encouragement by way of putting sticks and rocks into their own mouth, causing you to be vigilant in many directions at the same time. Even if they are cute.

* Sometimes, amid the weeds, you find an errant seed pod from a nearby tree that managed to establish itself among the rocks and has already sprouted roots. You pull it up and look at it in awe and wonder, and call others over to admire it also. A new tree is a good thing, right? But sometimes the timing is wrong - or the location. So you admire the handiwork, take the teachable moment, and continue tending to that which you know you are supposed to care for. In some cases, it's all about the rocks and not the trees.

* It's tough work to keep a driveway clean and usable. Body parts can begin to ache. But it is the best thing that can possibly be done so that God can transport you and use you in the places He means for you to be. And that makes the job worth it in the end.


Unknown said...

I hate weeding!! Hate it. Terry does a bit better, which is nice.

Brooke from The Bluestocking Guide said...

I'm a fan of killing weeds by spray rather than pulling, but...

Amen about the weeds in our life.

Beth said...

My husband weeded the rose bed this weekend and said he couldn't believe how many there were. I can't imagine a whole driveway!

Stephanie Kay said...

Weeds? I think you are describing my whole front yard. :)

Carrie said...

I actually really don't mind weeding. I get a sense of satisfaction when an area has been cleaned out. That said, I would prefer a smaller space to weed. ;) But! It still feels nice.

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