Yesterday, I spent two hours weeding my dad’s garden. It had gotten completely out of control in the past few weeks and if we didn’t do something about it soon, the garden would be a total waste.
Now, let me back up. My dad is a skillful gardener. He’s been growing a lush garden for decades. We have an annual bet in our family on what crop will we eat so much of that we’ll never want to eat another again. Last year, it was cherry tomatoes. The year before, I could’ve sworn we were all going to start looking like cucumbers – we had to eat SO MANY.
So, my dad knows how to plant, and sow, and keep the weeds at bay so the fruits of his labor have a fighting chance.
But this year was a little different. See, for the past two summers, he’s been on an extended sabbatical. Then, he went back to work in July. And while work is treating him fairly well, it has certainly kept him from his garden. Hence, the 4-foot tall weeds and waning harvest.
So yesterday, my mom, dad, and I spent a couple hours in the garden, yanking weeds and tending to the plants. And while I worked with a happy heart, I couldn’t help but notice the impact these weeds had on a garden that should’ve produced a lot more fruit by now.
The weeds were effectively choking out the tomatoes, squash, and peppers – stealing valuable sunlight, water, and nutrients – so they couldn’t grow.
And it made me wonder… What weeds do I have growing in my life? What might be causing a delay in growth?
My mind first went to people. Ya know, the sociology-backed point that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. While I spend most of my hours by myself and the other few with my family, I felt pretty sure that I didn’t have many “weedy” people around.
But then I thought…
What about that one blogger’s emails I read but always get annoyed by?
And that one person on Instagram that just rubs me the wrong way?
We’ve all got those few people online that, when we stop to think about it, there’s really no reason we should keep following them because they don’t enrich our lives in the least.
Then I contemplated other things that could be classified as a weed…
Comparison that leads to a choking out of self-confidence
Procrastination that leads to a choking out of passion for a project
Relying too much on myself that leads to a choking out of my faith in God
Screentime obsession that leads to a choking out of actual, real-life interaction
These are just a few that I identified in my own life. I’d bet you could come up with your own after just a few minutes of introspection.
We’ve all got weeds growing in our lives. And that’s okay.
But here’s the thing.
The garden can’t weed itself – that’s my dad’s job. And when he couldn’t handle it all himself, he called on trusted help to support him.
And my life can’t weed itself – that’s my job. And when I’m in over my head, cleaning out the mess, I must call on trusted help to support me.
Because it’s worthwhile work. Without it, there is no fruit. Right?
Without plucking out the weed of Comparison, our hearts may turn cold and hateful. But by working to ban Comparison in our own life, we can see others as they truly are, while still believing in our own skills and purpose.
Without plucking out the weed of Procrastination, our work may turn bland and lack luster. But by working to ban Procrastination in our own life, we can push through the uninspired times to find lighter, more creative days.
Without plucking out the weed of Stubborn Self-Reliance, our existence may turn into the absolute mess we make of it. But by having faith in God, above self, we can follow the unique, awesome path that’s been carved for us.
Without plucking out the weed of Screentime, our real-life relationships may cease to exist. But by limiting Screentime, we can look up more often and appreciate the beauty in the people around us.
So, now that I’ve gotten all kinds of introspective and deep on you…
My question for you is – What weed needs to be plucked this week in your life?
And one more – Do you need help to do it?