Monday, September 21, 2009

The Weeds' Revenge

Little green leaves and tiny colored flowers tried to masquerade their true identity. But the seeds that were awakened by last week’s showers were not welcome in the desert-landscaped lawn. The intruders were weeds.

A few days later, armed with a long-handled weed-stabbing tool I donned my gardening gloves and marched outside with a plastic bucket. By the early morning shade I vigorously attacked the invaders. Some of them had roots like miniature carrots.

Earlier, looking out the front room window I estimated that there were only about 15 - 20 weeds, and I’d be done in mere minutes. However, upon closer scrutiny there were more than that. Some had cleverly disguised themselves to blend in with the gray and blue colored gravel.

Nearly an hour later I carried a full bucket of weeds to the garbage can. A change of clothes and soon I was on my way to meet some friends at the coffee house.

By bedtime muscles in my back and legs were starting to complain. Midnight found me wide awake, reaching for some liniment I found in the bathroom cabinet. It didn’t help.

The next day by 8 a.m. I was phoning the chiropractor. Owwww. Even my left thumb hurt. The weeds had their revenge.

Does this hold true in other areas of life? Miscalculating how much time and energy a task will take, that’s one thing. Not expecting a backlash of pain or other trouble, that’s another possibility to take into consideration.

Parents try to teach children to think a matter through, to anticipate possible effects, to avoid careless or harmful outcomes. And, from our years of experience we may have learned to make reasonable choices. But there’s always room for improvement, or so it seems.

Looking back just on the last dozen years in our own nation there has been an increasing flood of “bad,” masquerading as “normal” and “acceptable” and “tolerant.” Growing up with TV and movies the younger generation has not had many examples of making good choices.

Consider Lot
Did Lot intend to make a real mess of his life, and the lives of his wife and children? Or did he just gradually see a different viewpoint that accepted more and more sinful behavior? He probably had a house in a nice section of town, had friends, a good income, maybe knew some of the town’s leading citizens. But little by little the behavior of the majority affected Lot’s family.

In Genesis 13 it says that Lot as he moved about with Abram had flocks and herds and tents. When given a choice Lot moved and pitched his tents near Sodom. In Genesis 14 Lot was living in Sodom. By Genesis 19 the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was so bad that the Lord was going to destroy those evil people. Two angels urged Lot to leave before the city’s punishment.

Lot did escape in time, but without his wife, without his riches. A life of comfort had eluded him. The possibility of leaving a legacy of faith and obedience to God had been shattered.

Lot did not identify the small warnings, and later did not react to the bigger warnings. In Luke 17 Jesus reminded his listeners about Lot and the results of his careless life. In 2 Peter 2:7 Lot was called a “righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men,” but he could have done better.

When we make a good effort to tidy up our lives and remove the weeds, consider the real possibility that the weeds can affect us even after we think they’re eradicated. We need the wisdom and empowerment of God’s Holy Spirit to deal with sin. Carelessness will affect us, our families, and our testimony to others. God will help us do what pleases Him, and that will be very good. # # #

by Elaine Hardt ©2009