Thursday, July 12, 2007

Weed B Gone on Jesus

So for a little extra cash, I clean my Dad's office every week. It's a real blessing because I get to clean toilets - no- because I get a couple of hours of silence and solitude and sometimes I get to spend some time with my sister, Amy. About once a month, I have to do some light outside work like weeding, trimming hedges and cleaning up the parking lot.

At my Dad's prompting, I had to do some weeding this week. The weeds were pretty bad and getting to be quite the eyesore. So, after doing the inside work, I ventured to the parking lot where I was met with this overgrown and overwhelming parking lot vegetation. As I started on the far left side of the lot and worked my way right, I started getting comfortable in my work and zipping right along the edge of the asphalt. It was about 90 degrees by then and kneeling at the black asphalt wasn't particularly pleasant, but this work had to be done or I don't get paid. Know what I'm sayin?

These particular weeds were pretty interesting. They stretched out far and by looking, I thought I'd need some gas-powered apparatus to pull it out, but after pulling one out, I realized that there was only one attachment point to this whole big green lot-monster. Wow, what a sense of accomplishment after pulling out that first one. Looking down the path, I thought the job might be easier than I'd initially feared. Isn't that what the pursuit of righteousness feels like? Like, Man, there's no way that I can face this issue that separates me from God and take it on now. I'll just put it away until I have time to face that struggle. Unfortunately, just as those ignored weeds in my Dad's parking lot continue to grow, my own ignored sin and bitterness and resentments grow, too. They start little and always grow out of the cracks in my armor just as those weeds find cracks in that asphalt to grow in and reside. But also like those same weeds, once I acknowledge my own rebellion and face those issues that are overgrown and overwhelming, I can find the anchor that has kept this weed strong and stubborn. See, that weed started in one spot, but as I continued to feed it and nurture it, it would spread all over the parking lot that is my heart and mind. But, as I find that one place of attachment, and pull it loose, I can find freedom in detachment from that behavior, habit, or obsessive thought.

Halfway through that job of yanking and pulling and scratching, I was sweating. I was hot and thirsty. So I took a break, went into the comfort of the cool air conditioning and took a nice cool drink of water (John 4:7-14). See, that's so God. He sees us in our struggle. He knows that working on cleaning up our act is hard, dirty work (Mike Rowe would like it). So he gives us a break from that dirty work, if we want it. He gives us a place of comfort and refreshment in His word - promising that this work is worth it (Psalm 119:2). But then He always prompts us to continue working, changing, weeding.

So I went back out there, into the heat (after checking out Criss Angel's latest on YouTube - Amy insisted). And kept working and pulling those stinkin' weeds that made that parking lot look like crap. And then when I was done, all through with the green monster and his little friends, I piled them all up and dumped them in the dumpster - and they were GONE. What a metaphor for the great God that we serve (is it OK to compare the creator of the universe to a garbage can?). He sees our sins, we see our sins, recognize them, confess them, turn from them(and keep trying) and God says, "OK, take those weeds you've pulled and take them to the dumpster. Let them go. I'll take them as far as the east is from the west and I will never remind you of them again. Never. Just make sure you've pulled from the root and taken care of those nasty things. " He says "I'll take them from here." And I say, "OK, Lord, thank you for your dumpster."

So will those weeds never come back? Probably not. Will my Dad tell me to get out there and pull those weeds? Probably. Will I have to go out and do the hard work again? Yes. Definitely. But I do know that the work will be worth it.

And so am I.

The bible tells me so.

1 comment:

Jennifer Sampson said...

Profound.