Lesson #1 from the garden…
I am not your typical green thumb, let me just put that out there to start with!
In fact, I have earned the reputation for having more of a black thumb than anything else… preferring plants that ‘thrive on neglect’. Ironically, over the last 12 months of my journey towards healing from anxiety, gardening has become one of my therapies.
There is something grounding and relaxing about getting out into your backyard, rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty. Gardening has become a rewarding discipline and a productive practice, producing delicious food that nourishes my family and saves us money while also teaching me about the earth, and myself. There are so many lessons that God has taught me while gardening, like today’s lesson in discernment.
I love salads, in fact I was vegan up until last month, so growing salad leaves was the priority of my garden. Over the winter months, I started noticing some unusual greenery appear amongst my rocket and baby spinach. I let them be and chose to ignore them thinking maybe it was my mystery snow pea plant that never sprouted. Weeks past, heavy rains fell, and one day they started blossoming with gorgeous tiny flowers. How lovely? I had never grown flowers before, my garden was strictly functional = if it doesn’t feed me, I don’t plant it!
Last week after the monsoon downpour we have just enjoyed these beauties that had grown another 15cm taller and the salad leaves around them were starting to get crowded out. These beautiful, towering, flowering plants were weeds! Today I finally made time to roll up my sleeves and get into the garden, not with reckless abandon but careful precision to identify the weeds and extract them with as little damage to my salad leaves as possible.
First I had to take hold of each tall plant and test it first to make sure it wasn’t rocket, then carefully and quickly yank it out at the root. It wasn’t easy, as they were well disguised amongst my delicious leaves… and because i had left it so long, there were SO many of them!
Jesus once taught his followers using a story about weeds. He likened some of our hearts to ground where seeds were planted, but as they sprouted, so did weeds . He went on to graciously explain what he meant by this:
“The seed sown among weeds represents the person who receives the message, but all of life’s busy distractions, his divided heart, and his ambition for wealth result in suffocating the Kingdom message and prevent him from bearing spiritual fruit.”Matt 13:22
How easy is it to be deceived in the midst of our busy days, not to notice… or CHOOSE to turn a blind eye from the pretty little weeds that are growing up right between our good works and day to day routines.
These weeds look like bad habits, time wasting addictions and vices that we know are not feeding our soul and in fact are taking our attention away from our beloved Jesus and His mission for our lives.
Let us take time to identify our weeds. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you discern what they are, and ask Him for guidance on how to remove them to make room for His Kingdom priorities in your life.
Emily King (C3 Shellharbour)