From the Rev, March 25, 2015

Dear Friends,

Spring is here! The azaleas and dogwood are in full bloom! The drake elm and redbud trees are bursting with new green leaves! And every car in Tallahassee is yellow!

I love the springtime here in Tallahassee. As the last bit of cold weather fades, a snapshot comes to my mind of what my yard will look like in a month…full of blooming flowers as my neighbors look enviously at my Better Homes and Garden lawn.

Well, that’s the snapshot. Now the reality. ..all the work it takes to get it ready to look like that. So I have spent the last couple of days pulling weeds with the result of an aching back, heat exhaustion, a splitting headache…and a lawn finally clear of weeds. But weeds are like a boomerang…they keep coming back.

I have found that beautiful gardens and lush carpet-like lawns don’t grow naturally. Weeds do. I wish it weren’t so, but I’ve got to keep pulling those weeds in order to maintain a healthy lawn.

Some weeds are easy to spot. A dandy-lion, or a ragweed I would pull up in a minute. I know they are weeds. No matter where they grow they are weeds. Others are not so easy to spot. In fact, some sproutings that look like weeds to me are not weeds at all. Growing up in Miami, periwinkles were weeds. They would sprout up all around our yard and I would spend a lot of time pulling them up. Imagine my surprise first saw these ‘weeds’ selling at a Tallahassee nursery for two bucks a plant!

Pulling weeds and planting good seeds. It’s pretty much the story of life, isn’t it? Our life can be alluded to as a sort of flowerbed or garden, and this flowerbed life of ours is not immune to the problem of weeds. If we want to cultivate a healthy and beautiful life we must rid ourselves of them.

What are the weeds in your life? Worry? Anxiety? Busyness? Unhealthy relationships? Jealousy? One way to spot the weeds is to check your conversations. What are you most excited about? What do you talk with others about? What preoccupies your thoughts daily? Is it something honorable?

I wish I had some high-powered herbicide to help you instantly eradicate the weeds from your life. The reality is that all soil has weed seeds. Lives do too. Weeds will continually try to resurface. Even though we may have the flowerbed cleaned out today, there is always work to do. The job never ends.

When we started our garden, Beth and I put a protective layer just below the surface of the flowerbed that prevented weeds from growing. It didn’t stop them all, but it was a big help. Let me suggest a ‘protective layer’ by writing down your blessings at the end of every day; spend some time in prayer and meditation. Ask God to help you prioritize your life so that you can remove the weeds. And try reading the Bible: I have found from personal experience that God’s word is active and living. It is a tool that can help us maintain the garden and prevent weeds from reappearing.

Spring is here! It’s a time for self-examination, weeding out the bad and planting the good, preparing the soil and getting rid of the weeds. Get yourself on a maintenance plan and keep your garden beautiful.

You are loved,