I just got back from being “on holiday” and in the midst of doing all my unpacking, I took a short break to take a look around the house and discovered that weeds had taken over all my flower beds. Mind you, I had them completely clear of weeds before I left. I was amazed at how many there were and in one area it looked as if I had never weeded at all…ever. To say it was discouraging would be an understatement, especially since I had done quite a lot of weeding while away “on holiday.” (I know…I am such a party animal.) While I don’t mind weeding, and sometimes I even enjoy weeding, I would like my efforts to stay around longer. What I wish for is that weeds were not so prolific. What I wish for is that my flowers and vegetables would grow like the weeds in my flower beds!
The thing is…weeds are a lot like our habits. Our bad habits seem to take over, while our good habits languish and struggle to influence us in making better life choices. It seems we would rather live out in the weeds as it were than in a flourishing flower garden. So we binge on Netflix when we should be out taking a walk. We eat second helpings, instead of stopping at a sensible portion of food. We do all the things we shouldn’t do even as we know we should be doing what is right for us in any given moment. We end up being a lot like the Apostle Paul who wrote in Romans 7:18 – 20 which says this: “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.” (NIV) We, like Paul, desire to do what is right…but…and sometimes it feels as if that little word “but” is mighty big. Sometimes making our decisions based on what is expedient is so much easier than making decisions based on what is the right thing to do.
And then…on top of our own bad decision making, we are susceptible to peer pressure. This propensity will get us into even more trouble because we want to be liked and will choose doing what our “friends” are doing rather than doing what is best for our safety, our bodies, even our livelihood. Pretty soon we will find ourselves in weeds that are over our heads. Once out in the weeds…it is hard to find our way home…a way back to where we belong. We…none of us…owns a pair of ruby slippers we can click together and they will instantly take us home when we say the magic phrase, “there is no place like home…” So…once we find ourselves out in the weeds…in lives littered with many bad habits…the only way back is to work our way out. And the only way to work our way out of the weeds (our bad habits) is to pull them out by the roots one at a time. And let me tell you: no matter what kind of weeding you are doing…weeding is hard, sweaty work. But…the reward of seeing a clean flower bed…a clean life…is well worth all the effort. Happy weeding!