I’m not a gardener by any stretch of the imagination, but sometimes, when I’m out in the yard with my dog, I’ve been known to pull a weed or two. There’s something therapeutic about pulling those pesky invaders out of the ground. As often happens, life lessons come to me from this simple activity.
A Problem With My Favorite Bush
I have a favorite bush in my front yard — a gardenia bush. It’s big and unruly but when it blooms in the spring, it’s divine.
I noticed the first blooms in early April. As more flowers appeared, I would sit outside in the rocking chair and savor the fragrance. If you haven’t smelled a gardenia, you’re truly missing a treat for the senses.
We went out of town for a week and when we returned the bush was covered in white flowers, but something was not quite right. Many of the flowers were turning brown and the bush seemed to be weighted down. That’s when my limited gardening skills went into action.
Getting My Hands Dirty
While Boone played and chewed on a stick in the front yard, I got to work on the gardenia bush. First, I pulled off all of the dead or dying blossoms. That alone perked the bush up. The remaining snowy white flowers popped against the vibrant green leaves.
There was still a problem though. Upon closer inspection, I could see a vine weaving it’s way through and around the bush. This vine, a weed, was weighing my gardenia bush down. I got to work untangling the weeds and when they were pulled off, the bush stood a little taller. I could almost imagine a sigh of relief.
A few weeks later, I was out with Boone while he played in the back yard. We have a small landscaped area outside our family room window full of medium sized bushes. We have some bird feeders and a bird bath out there and we enjoy watching all of the activity. I hadn’t paid much attention to the bushes until I went outside, but, they were covered in vines. I started pulling the vines off, freeing the bushes. Some of the vines were wrapped so tightly around the branches, they left imprints once pulled off. The vines scarred the little bushes.
Life Lessons From The Garden
This is what I learned from my brief experience in gardening:
- Just as the dead blossoms on the gardenia bush marred its true beauty, when we allow the dead, ugly, sinful things in our lives remain, it has a negative affect on our true inner beauty.
- Just as the vine weighted down the gardenia bush, when we allow the things of the world to weave their way into our lives, it can weigh us down and hinder our growth and purpose.
- Just as the vine, unnoticed from afar, overtook the little bushes, we may not see the danger or results of letting sin go unchecked in our lives.
- Just as the vine left scars on the little bushes, even though the vines were removed, the sin we allow to overtake our lives can have a lasting effect, even if we’ve repented, even if we’ve put an end to the sinful behavior.
I learned one more lesson from my yard just this week. Weeds we had spent hours pulling and removing just a few weeks ago were back. That shows me getting rid of the ugly, worldly, sinful things in my life isn’t a one-time deal. It’s an unending, life-long process.
How about you? Are you a gardener? Do you have a lesson to share from the garden? I’d love to hear!