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The Urgency of Pulling Weeds

I am a compulsive weed puller.  Even when I’m somewhere other than home, I sometimes can’t resist pulling a stray weed that has taken up residence in an otherwise tidy flowerbed. My gift (I prefer term over ‘neurosis’) gets plenty of exercise since I lead the volunteer grounds crew here at church. Weed pullers unite! A secondary purpose of this post is to invite fellow weed pullers to join me at the EBC Family Work Day on Saturday, October 27. We start at 8am with coffee, donuts and a prayer of thanks and then work for an hour or two. We typically end no later than 10am. If you plan to come please reply to this note to RSVP.

My primary purpose, however, is to share an insight that came as I pulled a few weeds before work this morning. One of the sneaky weeds we have is the cedar tree starts that pop up all over the place, offspring of Big Mama cedar on the corner by our front sign. They’re sneaky because they seem to sprout best under the protective shelter of our azaleas. As a result, you often don’t spot them until they’re over a foot tall.

A 12-inch cedar seedling is still quick and easy to remove … so long as you do so. Neglect to do so, and the vulnerable sprout becomes a small tree. If you walk across the street to Walgreens you will see a perfect example in their flower bed. Interestingly, their groundskeepers recognized it didn’t belong, but instead of pulling it they just cut it down to size. That took care of the problem as far as appearances are concerned, but the invader was simply given more time to establish its root base and become more entrenched. It is now about four feet high and removing it would be really difficult and would likely damage the irrigation system. Easy to see now that it should have been pulled a long time ago.

Now remember Jesus’ words about the seed that grew among the thorns, which grew up and choked the plant, leaving it unfruitful. This is the person who receives Christ, but allows worldly things to remain part of his life. “They’re just little things,” he says. No big deal. Or perhaps he justifies it. “Cedar isn’t a weed, it’s a tree. Trees are good.” But a few years down the road, that ‘good’ thing is dominating his life, shoving everything else to the edges. Worse, the roots are now so deep he doubts he could ever get it out, and is even less certain he really wants to. It would be a painful process that would likely damage other parts of his life. No, he decides this is just the way it is now. And it just keeps growing.

He who has ears, let him hear.

Pastor Toby

Categories: Evergreen Connection