Thursday, June 12, 2014

Day 163- A Weed First

A week or two ago Joel saw a tall weed growing on the side of the road about a hundred yards from our house.  It was a good bit taller than the grass.  This bugged Joel.  It got to where almost every time we passed there he would say, "I hate that weed.  I wish I could cut it down."  So, today Joel and I walked down the road, crossed the road, and cut down a stray weed for my "first."

This is definitely not something I would do if not for my year of "firsts."  For some reason, this weed has bothered Joel and I needed a "first" today.  Joel wanted a sword or a machete to use to cut it down.  That probably would have been more fun than the hoe and shovel we had. I was not willing to buy a sword or machete for one weed. That seemed not to be cost efficient.  Of course, Joel said we could use it for other things. When I asked what else would we use a machete for, Joel said to cut up stuff. I should have known that.

When we started walking down the road to chop the weed down, I asked Joel if that weed really bothered him.  He said, "Yes sir" like he really meant it.  We did get a few strange looks from people driving down the road while we were hacking away at the weed.  Of course, we live in a pretty rural setting so it was not that many strange looks. There are not that many cars that drive by in 15 minutes. I would not have been surprised if someone had stopped and asked us what was going on and if we need any help. We live in a friendly kind of place.

This did give Joel and I chance to do something together and talk together.  I told him that when I was 14 I had a job where I used a sling blade to cut down weeds one time. He said that sounded like fun.  I told him it was; for the first 15 minutes.  Thinking back, I probably stretched that a bit; maybe the first 10 minutes.   Then the fun starts to seep away and it becomes real work.  This led us to talk about work and jobs and earning money. I had no idea that cutting down a weed would lead to this much conversation and fun.  I am happy to announce the weed is gone. In fact, Joel saw a couple of other ones and got them as well.

Joel standing by the dreaded weed 

He said since it was my "first" I should take the first swing


 Joel got it by the roots; he wanted this weed gone

Joel went on a tear getting more unsightly weeds 

There are some unsightly things that do need to be cut down.  I have never had a weed bother me so much that I wanted to walk down the road and get it down. Sin needs to bother me that way.  Sin is unsightly and not becoming to a follower of Jesus.  Sin looks fun and promises a good time, but in the end costs us far more than we realized or wanted to pay.  It is easy to like sin, get used to sin, and indulge in sin.  What we need to do is to learn to hate sin.  I want to get to the place where I am sickened by sin (not sinners; I am thinking more of my own sin here) and not want anything to do with it.  Hebrews 12:1 says, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, 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"  Sin needs to be thrown off, cut down, and cut out of our lives.  Of course, we can't do that by ourselves, but the Holy Spirit lives inside of true believers to help. He is our deliverer.  I need to take that first step in hating sin.  One thing that helps me is to remember that this is more about my relationship with God than simply trying not to sin.  If I'm simply trying not to sin in the strength of my own will power and ability, that will end up in frustration.  When I concentrate on living in closeness with Jesus and seeing sin as the enemy of that closeness, I seem to do a lot better.  The motive needs to be loving and honoring Jesus and not simply avoiding sin.  Perhaps there is a sin growing in the garden of your heart that needs to be cut down.  Why not today?

Weeding for the abundant life

3 things I thank God for today
1. Shovels
2. Pockets
3. Blueberries

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