It’s been time for a month or so to have plants out in the garden. In fact, you could be getting close to enjoying some of those fruits and veggies on your plate soon. Just last night at supper my wife and I had the sweetest, homegrown grape tomatoes and a diced Anaheim pepper on our salad. It was a great start-of-the-summer moment! I’m looking forward to many more tastes from the garden (squash, corn, okra, peppers, cucumber, and watermelon) as the season moves on.
One thing I’m not looking forward to – nor does any gardener – is weeds and other plants trying to grow up in my nice, clean garden area. So, I spent yesterday afternoon building some barriers, burying 1x6s to try prevent weeds and grasses from growing back into the squash patch.
Weeds, thorns, and thistles, we’re told in Genesis 3:18, are a direct result and consequence of the fallen state of man and man’s world. Sin doesn’t any more represent God’s intent for his world than weeds represent my intent for my garden.
I don’t think most people set out to intentionally sin (just like gardeners don’t intentionally plant weeds). But you know how weeds are: they encroach, they spread, they grow – just like sin in our lives. One lie is told, then must be covered up with another, and another until the whole garden of our lives is covered up with weedy lies.
In Matthew 13:24-30 (and vv. 36-43), Jesus tells a parable of a well-planted field. In the night, an enemy of the farmer came and scattered weed seed all over the garden. In no way was this good for the crops, nor the workers in the field, nor the farmer’s bottom line. Jesus says that these weeds are “sons of the evil one,” who live just like their father – they are “causes of sin” and “law-breakers.”
Such a weed may live while the garden is growing because the weed is too close to the real plants to be removed safely. It may think that it’s found some kind of safe harbor or reprieve, that maybe it’s snuck in and remained undetected. But that’s not the case at all. When the cultivated crops are harvested at the end of the season, all the trash is pulled up out of the garden, including – and especially – those evil weeds. “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn,” says the farmer in Jesus’ story.
When I was a kid I loved to blow a dandelion’s fuzz with a big poof of breath, now I know that I was just spreading weeds! Let us grow up and stop spreading weeds! Let us grow up and stop being weeds! There’s only one way the season ends and it’s never good for the weed (or the guy who planted them!).
© Levi Sisemore. Published June 2, 2015, by the 37th Street Church of Christ, Snyder, Texas in The Snyder Daily News.