I have spent most of my formative years growing up in the country. With grandparents and numerous friends who have toiled over the soil, I’ve heard a lot of complaints regarding certain weeds.
Two types of weeds in particular cause a lot of angst in the farming community. One, Scotch Broom, is known to be a hardy weed that was introduced to America (and other countries) from it’s original countries of England and West Africa because of it’s ornamental quality. It was considered to be a beautiful plant with delicate but hardy foliage. It is now considered a noxious invasive plant within America. Since the introduction of this plant in the 1800’s, it is becoming abundantly clear that it is smothering out flora that is native to this country. It has no natural predator to keep in check so it takes over wherever it might have a possibility of growing roots. Oregon alone has lost nearly $47 million in timber production each year because of this fast growing plant ability to choke out local flora including the newly planted saplings.
The other noxious invasive plant that causes a lot of problems in farming communities is Tansy. Tansy, a pretty name for a pretty ‘flower’ that kills. It is so poisonous that the government has spent money in previous years trying to eradicate it. People would come into a community (or community members would do it) to pull and burn the plant out so livestock would be protected from this plant. This plant was also brought over by ‘well meaning’ people because it supposedly has a lot of medicinal uses (many of which have been proven false). This yellow flower crops up quickly in meadows and farm lands and is of great concern if horses and cattle are turned out for grazing in those area. Death can quickly come to animals who might eat it.
Pretty flowers that have become invasive weeds.
Reminds me of the power of sin.
Sin has this overwhelming ability to fool you into thinking that it is good, beautiful, helpful and so many more adjectives. We have two different types of sin- sin that is like Scotch Broom, that is so fast growing that it slowly chokes out our ability to do right. Or sin that is like Tansy, where only a few bites of the forbidden can cause death.
And much like these nasty weeds that people complain about, so these different sins are equally available for complaining from the people that surround us. But, also just like Tansy and Scotch Broom, there are people in your life who love the chaoticness of sin and cultivate it like precious heirloom flowers, feeding and watering it while allowing it to take over their lives.
How do we eradicate such hardy sins if we can’t even manage to eradicate these weeds? With patience, prayer, and encouragement from our loved ones. We turn to God and lay our sinful lives before him, asking him to create change within us.
We allow God to break us and create in us distaste for that which is unrighteous. More often than not we will slip back into that sin, but we just have to claw our way out again. It’s about continually trying to become more Christ like in our lives, learning how to turn our backs on temptation and seek that which is holy.
We allow God to burn the sins within our hearts to ashes and allow him to plant fruits of the Spirit within us.
We can live in a ruined meadow full of Scotch Broom and Tansy where life is toxic and crowded, or we can live in an orchard full of healthy life giving fruit. Which do you choose?
Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
“‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
“‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”