|Blossoms on our dogwood tree are our most vivid reminder of spring's promise.|
This may come as a shock to anyone reading this up North, but it’s springtime! While the last vestiges of winter were continuing to pummel the Western, Midwestern and Northeastern states, we folks here in the South were already having the thrill of firing up our lawnmowers and trimming our lawns several times. So for those just starting to delight in the warmer weather, be advised that for some of us, it’s been here for awhile.
Actually, mine probably doesn’t qualify as a lawn, since there probably aren’t more than 15-20 legitimate blades of grass in my front and side yards combined. But at least it’s green, and when the weeds are closely cut they don’t look much different.
|Every year one persistent |
tulip announces spring's
Everywhere we turn, we find evidence of that: flowering buds giving way to green leaves; colorful flowers emerging from the ground to make their annual appearance; birds returning home after their winter “vacations”; bees buzzingly going about their work, and squirrels scampering across roadways and clambering up trees.
The deadness and dormancy of winter bows out, succeeded by the chirps and rustlings of yet another spring bursting forth in all of its glory. For the spiritually minded, it also serves as a reminder of Jesus’ promise that, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). And for those who have received Him into their lives, that we too can “walk in newness of life,” as Romans 6:4 terms it.
|If the goal were to grow|
weeds, I'd be the best
in our neighborhood.
In one of His messages to His followers, recorded in Matthew 13:24-30, Jesus spoke about the wheat and the tares, weeds that commonly grow in the midst of grain. At first they appear very much alike, but before long the wheat and tares can be easily distinguished and must be separated. The tares must be gathered and destroyed, He said, until only the wheat remains.
The weeds that infiltrate the monkey grass that lines our front walkway are like that. At first they’re indistinguishable, but before long they become evident for even casual observers to notice. Insidious sins that creep into our lives are like that. At first, hardly anyone notices; maybe not even ourselves. But over time they make their presence known, and their seductive, negative influence on our lives becomes undeniable.
Wise King Solomon used a different analogy with the same meaning when he wrote, “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom” (Song of Solomon 2:15). At first the pesky thoughts and behaviors we cultivate seem of little consequence, but then we discover them guiding us down paths we never intended to take. The best way to deal with them, like weeds and little foxes, is to get rid of them as soon as we become aware of their presence.
Before long we’ll find ourselves again mired in the “dog days of summer,” but until then we have the opportunity to benefit from the many reminders of renewal, of rebirth. And also to become refreshed about the need for vigilance to prevent the “weeds” in our lives from taking root – and taking over.