Pullin’ Weeds

   Never fancied myself as a gardener, yet growing up somehow prepared me for the job. Dad was the boss, and the one with the plan. For some reason there was never a shortage of weeds. When in Ireland, dad purchased a house on Gilnahirk Road. It was a typical two story bungalow. It was white with black window sills. It surrounded as most houses there, with thick hedges about five feet tall. Of course dad wanted to re-do the yard, so it began.
   His built in ‘work crew’ was drafted to help and the first thing to go was the front hedge row. We had a Volkswagon Bus, and we used it plus a heavy rope to pull out all hedges along the road. We had raised gardens… two circular, two diamond shaped, and a big square one in the middle with long rectangular gardens running down each side. All kinds of flowers with special designs were planted.  All had weeds needing pulled regularly. We absolutely hated weeds… but it had to be done. The paths between these raised gardens were all re-done and flag-stone was carefully re-laid. The driveway was re-done, by leveling the ground and again, flag-stone laid. We all did our share of pulling weeds. Even Bob got out there in his wheel chair and pulled weeds. In the end, we had what we thought was the most beautiful front yard on the road. Eventually, our neighbors complimented these ‘strange Americans’ who dared to be different.
   WEEDS…. I still hate weeds, in my yard! Every year, there are about a zillion weeds to pull or spray, hoping they will not return. Hours and hours during the growing season, I pull and spray, and every year, I say something like, “Adam, it’s your fault… thanks a lot!” “If you had not given in and eaten what Eve gave you, we wouldn’t be in this mess and have all these weeds!” Yet weeds have many uses for the environment, and they have their beauty.
   We learned lessons. We learned it does no good to leave the roots… they only grow back. We learned that before you can build a garden, you first have to clean the area and prepare the soil. We learned the value of working together. Most importantly, we learned to use our hands.
   Jesus once told a story of a man who went out to plant seeds. Some seed landed on stony ground, some on weedy, thorny ground, some on hard ground and some on good ground. Of course the young plants grew, (except on the hard ground), on stony ground, got choked by weeds and thorns. Amazing how concerns and worries of the world can choke out any growth that God’s word might have in someone’s life.
   Jesus later spoke about the uselessness of worrying. He used the lilies of the field as an example of how God cares. Aren’t you more valuable than the lilies? Surely God cares more for people. How much does He care? Well, enough to send His Son to be a sacrifice for sin.
   Weeds, I hate them in my yard, but they teach many lessons.

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