April 13, 2012

Weeds in the Garden of Life

In 1975, Nancy and I bought an old farmhouse with a beautiful view of Keuka Lake. The house had no heat, running water, or electricity, and it badly needed painting inside and out. But we were young, and we were up to the challenge. When we finished renovating and remodeling, we had a new home requiring a minimal amount of upkeep. 

Below the house, was a half acre of rock garden so well hidden beneath locust trees, wild roses, wild grapes and weeds, it was no longer visible from the road it bordered.  With a mental image of what we hoped to achieve, we set about clearing, cutting, pruning, planting, transplanting, watering and grading. Finally, we were satisfied that the result of our efforts deserved to be shown in a local garden contest. 

Two weeks before the judges arrived to inspect what we had accomplished, we withdrew from the competition. The problem was . . . . weeds! 

Each Sunday, our pastor, Judy White, shares with our congregation her thoughts on the Word of God, choice seed that hopefully falls on good soil. But just like our garden on the hill, without constant attention and maintenance, unwanted weeds such as hatred, bigotry, envy, bitterness, lust, greed and anger may also grow in our hearts and ultimately choke out that which is inspired by God. 

Ultimately, we received a first place award for our garden on the hill. Now our goal is to earn God’s approval in the garden of life.