I knelt last week in my yard, trying to dig and pull out the unwanted grass that literally lined the inside of a narrow flower bed, separated from the lawn in our backyard by a flagstone border. Why wasn’t that grass on the outside of the border rather than on the inside – in with all the rest of the grass where it was supposed to be….then I wouldn’t have to pull or dig it out? It was hard work, sometimes kneeling, sometimes bending, sometimes pulling and all the time realizing that if it didn’t come out, the garden would look ugly and untended the rest of the summer and perhaps more significant was the fact that the unwanted grass and weeds would continue to grow and expand and infringe upon the space needed for the flowers to thrive. There was no easy, quick fix…it took hard work and persistence.
That same day I pulled numerous weeds and raked up dried debris leftover from the winter from a side-yard-garden for which Ken had already purchased rose bushes to plant. I had a lot of time to think that day. Pulling weeds, raking dead leaves, digging out unwanted grass does not engage the mind too heavily!
I began to ponder my life and the weeds therein and the similarities involved in the process of extracting said weeds from my life as those in my garden. Interesting ponderables! Getting rid of those areas in our lives that are unbecoming and infringing upon health do not happen easily or quickly. There are very few ‘quick fixes;’ however, God does give us instructions how to proceed --- nowhere does He say it is okay to be passive or ignore those areas that need attention…to just let them go and grow. Listen to these words from Hebrews 12 – “let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” We must make choices to dig out, pull, tug, let go of, throw off and get rid of those things that hold us back from following Him and His plan for us – that hinder Kingdom work. The Hebrews passage clearly tells us that letting those things stay untended in our lives will cause entanglement and hinder us from running the race that He has marked out for us…it is our race…He has marked the course…He is the starter…we must do our part, and He will strengthen us for the journey, He will encourage us along the way, He will guide us across the finish line.”
Considering Him for me involves what I choose to spend my time thinking about. The verses in Philippians 4 have recently been engaging my mind..."Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."
May we keep our eyes focused on Him as we consider Him and all that He endured for us to make it possible for us to finish – and finish well the race marked out for us!