Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Fruit From Weeds: Insight 9

Even weeds can be redeemed

Last, but by no means least, our glut of weeds provided a lot of compostable material.  Those weeds, combined with the coffee grounds and yard waste, gave us 6 or 8 yards of good compost.

Those were all things society had no use for. In a word, they were garbage. But God’s perfect wisdom, working through far from perfect gardeners, turned them into a rich resource that will help feed many, many, folks.

We shouldn’t be surprised by that—God has a long history of changing what no one else values into great blessings. Think about the Hebrews; God turned a small, and highly dysfunctional, family into a people that gave us our Savior and key values of Western Civilization. Deuteronomy 7:6-8.  Think about Joseph and David.  They were the least thought of members of their families, but God used both powerfully to bless thousands in their times and billions over the years.  He still does that every time he turns one of us sinners into a saint.  1 Corinthians 1:28 puts it well, God chooses the “lowly things of this world and the despised things” to deliver His love.

Fruit From Weeds: Insight 8

It’s easier to weed well tended soil & it gets easier to pull weeds once you've pulled adjacent weeds

We learned two other things while weeding. First, it’s easer to weed good soil. We only had enough compost in the spring to cover part of our beds, and the weeds came out of the composted beds much easier than the others. Second, we found that individual weeds were easier to pull after immediately adjacent weeds had been removed. That’s probably because the soil around the second weed was loosed to some extent by pulling the first weed.

Those dynamics are consistent with life in general. Tasks tend to get easier once we’ve made some initial effort toward their accomplishment.

Those dynamics are also consistent with Scripture. Proverbs 10:4 and Proverbs 21:5 tell us that diligence tends to make things go well. Matthew 25:14-29 likewise teaches us that God blesses those who are active in trying to do His work.

My point here is not to pat myself on the back  (to the contrary, we wouldn’t have had weed problems in the first place if I had done things right), but to highlight another example of the truth of God’s word being illustrated by real life. We just have to keep our eyes open to see them.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Fruit From Weeds: Insight 7

One weed at a time

Faced with a lot of weeding, it is tempting to try to pull multiple weeds at one time. Resist that temptation. Otherwise you will likely end up with a handful of leaves while the weeds’ roots remain the ground.  The bed may look better right now, but those roots will grow new leaves in short order, consuming more of the soil’s nutrients. And guess what, you’ll have to weed the same area all over again.

Instead, focus on one weed at a time. That will make it more likely to get the roots out, ending that weed for good. As scripture puts it, “accumulation little by little is the way to riches.” Proverbs 13:11 (New Jerusalem Bible)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Fruit from Weeds: Insight 6

Enjoy the Good Stuff as You Go Along

Weeding is not my favorite task, but it does have one pleasant aspect—it gets me close to the crops and the soil. It puts me at ground level with my hands in the middle of a bed.  That gives me a close up view of our crops’ beauty. It also gives me a chance to appreciate the soil and how much life it contains. That can bring a lot of joy. The secret is to look beyond the weeds at the good things around them.

That is true of life in general. We all have routine duties that are not themselves pleasant, but show us good stuff if we open our eyes. We have to flip our clothes in the spring and fall and iron them in between.  Neither chore is fun, but both remind us of God’s provision.  We have to proof read a document (the epitome of tedium), but that forces us to examine what God has given us the talent and opportunity to write.  

You get the idea; God gives us ways to experience joy in the midst of the mundane. We just have to open our eyes. Maybe that’s why He tells us to “rejoice always; pray without ceasing” and  “in everything give thanks.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.