“Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants… The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures and do not mature.” (Luke 8:7, 14)
This past Saturday I spent a couple of hours doing the detestable: pulling up “careless weeds.” I have two gardens. A small one to the South of the house and a large one on the North side. The small garden is the one that gets the most attention. (Now I confess that both of them need much more care.) Anyway, the small garden is in better shape than the other. I try to keep it weeded and as much of the grass out as I can. It contains the more delicate vegetables like tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, and all that stuff. The large garden is probably more correctly called the pea patch and the watermelon patch. This is one that there is no great need to spend large amounts of time on.
Enough of that. Let’s get on with the story. Since the large garden requires little care, it gets almost none. There is a weed that surely must have been the first one Adam encountered after his fall. “Careless weeds.” I don’t know how they got their name or where it came from. But I do understand something about them. They grow almost anywhere, especially those places where you are careless and do not attend to them regularly. They start out just a small plant that one of these days you will get around to pulling up (if you find the time). They have this little game they play. They get up about a foot tall and just stand there daring you. They almost seem dormant. Why pull them up, you ask yourself. They’re not growing. Get them when you have more time. All of a sudden you look out across the garden and they have taken over, sprouted a seed head and are headed for reproduction. If that happen, woe to you next year. These weeds will torment you beyond measure.
Beware of careless weeds. They look harmless for a while, but when full grown they have a millions tiny thorns that sting like fire, even through leather gloves. They are ferocious and they are out to get you.
How often do we allow things in our lives to become our “careless weeds.” We often tend to the more delicate with great exuberance. We weed and feed and convince ourselves that adequate care is being taken of our lives. The small garden in our lives looks good. People come by and say, “My, what a beautiful garden.” Or perhaps they say, “You’ve really got it all together.” What about the big picture? What about the garden out back that the others don’t see so readily?
In my garden, the careless weeds had begun to choke the life out of my peanuts and two rows of my peas. Left unattended, I would have lost the crop and caused the weeds to multiply.
In our lives, the crop is more precious than a couple of rows of peanuts and a few rows of peas. We are talking about eternity here. When we weed these monsters from our lives we are protecting against the evil one. Satan tries to convince us that these matters, these careless weeds, are of no consequence to us. They are not worth our time and effort to alleviate. But, he lies.
Beware of the “careless weeds” in your life. They can and will inflict damage to you and all those around you if left to grow.