Thursday, June 26, 2008

Weeds, Life and My Heart

Recently I was in Virginia. When I'm there, there are at least two "must" stops: seeing our children and grandchildren and going to Ukrop's. Ukrop's is a wonderful grocery store. When I went there recently, I saw a sign that said something like "Due to circumstances beyond our control we are unable to offer our usual selection of prepared food today." That was exactly what I came for (along with bar-b-que sauce) so I was bummed!

Well, I'm about three months behind in my gardening this summer "due to circumstances beyond my control"! Guess what that means?! WEEDS and more weeds!

We live about 70 feet above a busy highway and our "bank" is quite a challenge to tame even partway down. However, if I start early and stay with it, I can stay ahead of the very aggressive weeds. Not this year! This year the weeds are way ahead of me. Some of them are taller than my head. One of the most prolific is a vine that is multiplying like Jack's beanstalk. Yesterday I was trying to dig some of the vine up. It's a precarious job because I am also standing on a pretty steep bank above that busy highway. I certainly don't want to fall off my bank into the traffic.

I discovered yesterday that this vine has roots bigger than most trees and wherever these roots travel in the soil the vine is popping up. I'm not sure anything short of a big dose of Round-Up is going to do the vine in. The only problem is that Round-Up doesn't discriminate. There are plants and trees on that hillside I don't want to kill.

My struggles with this nasty vine made me think of the story Jesus told about the man who was broadcasting seed. Some of these seed - perfectly good seed - fell among hearty weeds (like my vine). Jesus said the weeds strangled the plants that tried to grow from the good seed.

When Jesus explained what He meant by His story of the seed, He said the seed that fell in the weeds and got strangled were like people who hear the truth of God's Word, who hear the Gospel. Jesus said these people do hear God's truth but then what they heard "is crowded out and nothing comes of it as they go about their lives worrying about tomorrow, making money and having fun." (Luke 8:7, The Message)

Thus my vine becomes an opportunity to learn (in addition to being a lot of hard work to manage). It reminds me that "worrying about tomorrow, making money and having fun" can get a choke-hold on my heart. Making money and having fun and even preparation for tomorrow are not evil things in and of themselves. The problem is when these things become my focus to the exclusion of what is more important and valuable!

Jesus also said, "... do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. ... where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Luke 12:22 - 23, 34 - NIV)

Can you imagine how awesome it would have been to be standing listening to Jesus that day so long ago? If you knew Him for Who He is, then surely His words would send shivers down your spine! Here is God's greatest Treasure speaking in code, saying, "Where your treasure is, there you heart will be also!" When our hearts treasure Him above all else, then we don't have to worry about food, clothes or even tomorrow. Even when "circumstances are out of our control," He is still on His throne! He is always and forever Jesus, the King!

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