Spiritual Lawn Care

When I was young my parents insisted on a nice yard. Since we built our house in an hay field it took a lot of work to get one. We collected large rocks from the foothills of eastern Washington and built rock walls. We also split old power poles and made split rail fences and planted shrubs. I liked the yard but didn’t always appreciate being involved in the process. The special projects didn’t bother me as much as the ongoing maintenance. My Dad likes a short lawn so it was my job to mow it frequently. That was understandable though I couldn’t see why it was important enough to get a guy out of bed before noon on a Saturday (few things were that important). I suppose it all worked out in the end as I inflicted the same chores on my children.

Lisa and I also like to keep a descent looking yard. Of course when I say, “Lisa and I”, I mean mostly Lisa. Oh, I do a lot of mowing and usually remember to do at least one of the two times you are supposed to fertilize. However, she does all of the weeding, and pruning, and planting. She plants flowers in all the flowerbeds, in the window boxes on the garage, and a few pots on the deck. She has added a few lilacs and a couple apple trees and a new salsa garden in the side yard. Some of the plants return each year but it always takes several trips to the local greenhouses to fill in the gaps.

Last year I noticed that we had a weed growing around the bottom of one of our large evergreen trees. It is a clover looking plant with little blue flowers and looked kind of nice along the bottom of the tree so I left it alone. That was a mistake. The first time I mowed the yard this spring I could not believe how much of the yard that weed had spread to. There is even some of it growing on the far side of the house. The first weed and feed did not take care of the problem. Hopefully the second one will. If you don’t get rid of weeds quick they take over.

The same is true of sin. The Bible warns us: “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions” (Romans 6:12). Once these sins take hold in our lives they become very difficult to get rid of. Every alcoholic or drug addict had a first time and it would have been much easier to quit then. Pornographic web pages are much easier to stumble across than they are to stop looking at. I used to tell my kids that if they could find one smoker who had not tried to quit many times then I would entertain the idea that it might be a good thing for them to try. You need to pull those weeds in your life now. You may not be able to later.

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