When I first became the proud owner of a yard, my most familiar enemy was the morning glory. It seemed to spread everywhere, wrapping itself sneakily around the roses and in and out of the evergreens. One day I was perusing my book “Wildflowers of North America” and was surprised to see my weed listed and described as a flower. Flower was certainly not the name I had given my pest.
The question came to my mind, “When does a flower become a weed?” And the answer, “When the environment is so supportive to the particular flower that it grows out of control, entangling, crowding out, and eventually killing all the other flowers.”
Our Heavenly Father has made available to his children the riches of the earth, good things that can enrich our lives and be a blessing to us. Occasionally something that was meant to be a blessing becomes a curse, a flower turned weed. Examples of these mixed blessings might be food, money, love, and medication. Why is this so?
Let’s look at the morning glory for our answer. Morning glory is not inherently bad, and yet given the right living conditions it can totally crowd out other growing things. The flower becomes a weed. Food, money, love, medication and other seemingly good things can become weeds to our souls as they flourish in a particular environment and run rampant, crowding out our relationship with God. How do we stop the infiltration of soul strangling weeds?
Let’s look again to the morning glory. I can never get rid of the morning glory completely once the seeds have been sown. I labor to keep the weeds in check. So it is with food, money, love, drugs etc. To keep these flowers from becoming weeds we try, we labor, we work at self discipline trying to keep these things in check.
The only way to truly rid my yard of morning glory completely is to change the environment so that the seeds no longer lie on ground that promotes growth. I imagine I will be controlling morning glory forever as I have little influence over Utah’s morning glory producing environment. So I keep it in check.
In regard to my soul I strive to keep it’s garden in check also, weeding daily through repentance and forgiveness so that nothing runs out of control on a mission of destruction. But at times even with “weed” in hand, the futility of the task becomes overwhelming. I often despair knowing the living root is buried just under the ground, out of sight, and in such rich soil.
For some known and unknown reasons, the environment, which is me, and has been inherited from God and man, is more conducive to the rampant spread of some things over others. I have and have had little influence on the making of it and seem to have even less ability to change it. I am in fact powerless to do any more than to weed it by repenting of excess. I’m trying not to add things to my environment that encourage weeds.
But there is one Jesus Christ who has purchased the right to transform my nature. It is only through and with Him, because of Him that the soil of my soul can be changed, that my environment of self can be altered. If I allow the Lord to do his work, no longer does the flower of food become the weed of compulsive eating or compulsive starving. No longer does the flower of success become the weed of materialism. No longer does the flower of sorrow become the weed of anger and hatred. No longer does the flower of love become the weed of lust.
It is not because He is out there weeding the garden and keeping excess in check. He is capable as a result of his love and sacrifice for us, and our willingness to be altered, to actually change us so that weeds cannot flourish. The very nature of the ground upon which seeds fall has been transformed.
By Nannette W.
Posted Sunday, September 21, 2008
Copyright 2008 by Nannette W. All right reserved.
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