Springtime in Oklahoma can be torture! It's crazy weather season and we usually miss out on many, many good television shows because all of the weathermen are hogging the channels showing live coverage of the latest storm.
Our great state is also known to have very high pollen levels, so if you have allergies this is one of the worst times of year for you. But, what I hate the most about spring are the weeds! Nothing in my flower beds has emerged from under their covering except for weeds.
Last week I spent over an hour yanking the suckers out of the ground. I worked so hard at it that I couldn't move the next day. (Yes, I'm THAT out of shape. Pitiful, I know!)
Some weeds were small and some were big.
As I was pulling, I noticed that the smaller ones could be harder for me to extract from the ground. The root system wasn't necessarily deep, but they were harder to spot and more difficult to grasp - there just wasn't much to hold on to. But the larger ones were more obvious. I could wrap my entire hand around them and pull with all my might. It was shocking at how large some of the root systems were - they'd obviously been growing underground for quite some time and it became even more apparent that we are horrible when it comes to keeping our yard in shape.
Anyway, as I was pulling those weeds, it occurred to me that the process is a lot dealing with issues in our lives. And perhaps I made that particular analogy because I was in school to be a counselor (before dropping out to make movies) and all we talked about is how to help people discover their "weeds" and pull them out at the root.
Some examples of people's weeds might be gossip, bitterness, anger, anxiety, over-eating, being judgmental or allowing people to negatively influence their lives . They aren't necessarily an addiction or a major moral failure, but there are areas that God is trying to open their eyes to see so they can deal with them.
Like the smaller weeds, these areas can be much more difficult to spot and even more difficult to remove. What support group do you go to for being snarky? I doubt there is one because if there was, I'd be in it.
What support group do you go to for being snarky? I doubt there is one because if there was, I'd be in it.
So I guess we snarky folk are on our own. Right? Nope. Just ask God to help you open your eyes and then be willingly to pull the weed.
Then there are the bigger weeds. The weeds that are obvious not only to the person who has them, but to people around them. You can spot those weeds from a mile away and grabbing a hold of them can be a bit easier. It may be obvious what steps need to be taken to destroy them, but once the work begins, you realize just how deep the root can be. You may have to really grab hold and pull.
Sometimes it will come out easily, and you'll take the entire root ball with it. But other times you've got to wiggle the weed around a bit and then when it finally comes out, it leaves some of the root behind.
What happens then? Do you try to get the remainder of the root ball out or do you wait for it to resurface? I would bet most of us get tired and don't worry too much about getting the rest of the root right then and there. So sadly, the weed isn't really gone, it's just back in hiding.
If we're willing to look, God helps us see weeds for what they are - an unattractive element to an otherwise beautiful landscape. Much of the time, opening our eyes and seeing the weeds is motivation enough to get to work to remove them. We don't want them invading our space any longer and we finish the job of pulling them out.
If we're willing to look, God helps us see emotional weeds for what they are: an unattractive element to an otherwise beautiful landscape.
Other times God allows us to see the weeds and we get to work on extracting them, but the job becomes too painful or difficult so we give up and let them continue to grow. Then,we walk past them every day and act as if they don't exist. This group has allowed the Lord to open their eyes but they have chosen to return to the place where it's easier - maybe not pretty or better, or healed- but comfortable.
Unfortunately, sometimes when we look at our garden and see that the weeds have gotten huge, the job seems too big and we decide to give up and let the weeds have their way.
In all of the reading I did for Grad School, I was most hopeful by the reality that for those that are willing to look honestly at their past hurts, their own behaviors, and the ways in which we interact with our world, things can massively improve.
We can change. We can heal. But it takes work.
It takes getting out there and digging in the dirt, no matter how big the weeds are. It means working to the point that we ache the next day. But the end result - if we'll just keep weeding - is freedom.
I promise you, it's worth it. So, get in there and start pulling those weeds. If necessary, find someone to help you do it. You might hate the process, but won't regret the end result!