I’ve often had swaying fields of red catch my eye in the median as I’m driving down the highway. I really wanted to get closer to take pictures of it, but never had a chance to . . . until last week! There was a patch growing beside a rest area, and I seized the opportunity.
It was a bit difficult to snap the picture at the exact moment there was no breeze, but I managed to capture this one.
It seems pretty enough, especially when all together it creates a cloud of red hovering over a field of green.
It even had tiny white flowers open here and there!
Tiny beautiful treasures.
Today is exactly one week later. I came home from work and decided to pull a few weeds from my wildflower garden. Last year, after we cleared the ground and planted wildflower seeds to provide food for the honeybees, I had focused on eradicating two weeds that had roots and runners everywhere under the soil. I figured that if I could keep up with pulling up the young sprouts, eventually the roots would die off.
Well, the roots still aren’t dead yet. This evening I had my weed radar on, seeking to kill and destroy any of those weeds I could find!
I went through the garden at least twice before I noticed something red out of the corner of my eye. Wouldn’t you know, it was the same plant I had photographed on the side of the highway!
Here it is, for your viewing pleasure:
younger, not as bright red, but there nonetheless. Growing uninvited and unwelcome! Today I decided that the tiny treasures are now my enemies. And why would I change my mind? Well, let me show you!
This, my friend, is how they spread:
Runners under the soil sprout new plants a few inches away from each other. This one runner has more than four plants growing off of it! Each one taking water and nutrients from the soil that’s supposed to be supporting my wildflowers.
My focus was so fixed on the two known weeds that a stranger had crept in and was trying to stealthily take over! I didn’t have time to get up every single little invader, but I did pull up all of the stalks with seeds on them before I ran out of time. I’ll have to go back and keep my eye out for three different intruders from now on!
Our spiritual lives are much like my garden. Keeping the weeds of life from stealing our peace and joy takes vigilance on our part. We may be hyperfocused on getting rid of a particular habit or thought pattern; meanwhile, something else creeps in under the radar and takes root.
We need to make sure to keep a bird’s eye view of our heart condition overall, while at the same time keeping a close eye on what’s growing in it! How can we do both at the same time? With help from the Master Gardener, who wrote the ultimate gardening manual!
When did you last spend time studying God’s Word? Not just skimming it to check it off your task list, but really reading it, thinking about it, and taking time to let it sink in? Talking to God about what you read, and listening for his response? Considering how to apply what you’ve read to your personal life?
Spending time reading and contemplating the Bible every day will give you insight into numerous aspects of your spiritual life. You generally won’t find identical wisdom from one day to the next. Each day’s passage brings something new to the table! Daily time in the word will help to keep you from getting hyperfocused on any one particular issue in your spiritual life, and will instead help you to become well-rounded in your growth.
“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” (Hebrews 4:12 NLT)
If you’ve let your daily time in the Word drop off, let me encourage you to pick it back up again! Give it time to speak to your heart and shine light on any areas that need your attention. Ask God for wisdom in applying what you read, and believe that He is helping you to accomplish His will for your life!
“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” (Philippians 2:13)
I’m so thankful to have a manual for this garden of life, aren’t you?
A little research on my new enemy led me to Red Sorrel, which is edible. I suppose I could add the young leaves to my tossed salad, but I could do the same with dandelion greens. I don’t see either happening in the near future . . .