Gardening – Till the Soil, Pull the Weeds

Tis the season to garden. I realize that I am probably behind schedule, but I am also not a true gardener, so I get a pass. Gardening truly is a hobby for me (“an activity done in one’s leisure for pleasure”). If things grow – praise God! This brown thumb won’t get any credit for it, that’s for sure. And if things don’t grow – well, the process was fun.

Today Derek and I stopped at Home Depot for some lawn mower oil, but I got allured by all the packets of seeds as soon as we walked in. I wasn’t really planning to plant a garden this year, but the thought of fresh basil and the smell of fresh soil were too much for me. So, I caved. And I bought seed packets of green onions (which were supposed to be planted in the fall – oh well – better late than never!), sweet basil, chives, cilantro, and oregano. An herb garden!

This afternoon I went out with my spade, shovel, fertilizer, and seeds and got right to work tilling the soil. It only took about 4 seconds to run into my first obstacle – a weed. Actually, there were several weeds on the surface that looked like no problem for this amateur to take care of. Just a little yank and tug and I’d be right on my merry way planting the seeds. Not so. These weeds were buried deep, tunneled far (we’re talking FEET), and all interconnected to the same root system. In fact, at one point I thought I was pulling on an electrical line, because it was so huge.

How could this be? I thought. They were so tiny on the surface, and some of them were even pretty...just like the sin in my life. A little frustration here, a little selfishness there, a little pride and self-righteousness – no big deal. Just don’t try to dig them out!

Digging weeds up is painful, and no matter which weed gets pulled, it always leads to the same root – me. I want, I need, I am, I think, I feel, but I… It is everything opposite a humble, Christ-saturated attitude. And it is very ugly.

Yes, digging hurts. But the ugly, destructive weeds get pulled out, and the rich, nutrient-filled soil remains, ready to grow things like basil or chives! The plants have a much better chance at growing strong and healthy, as opposed to being stunted because of weeds.

I wonder how much fruit in my life is stunted because of weeds – even pretty weeds – and roots of self. How willing am I to let God till the soil of my heart and pull out the weeds…for the sake of being more like Christ and bearing much fruit – like basil?

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