Study: What good thing in my life needs to be cultivated to grow? What bad thing needs to be removed?
Pray: Do I see the issues in my heart with clarity and honesty? Ask the Lord for guidance.
Serve: Can I help someone to grow? Are there opportunities right now where my service can help others become stronger and better?
I love spending time in a garden. I love watching the beauty of nature unfold from spring to fall as the plants grow and mature. My moments in the garden are times for solitude (its just me and the mosquitoes). I pray, reflect on current issues and needs, and enjoy the satisfaction which comes from time well spent.
I will also freely admit that when I get the chance I actually like weeding. As a boy I hated it; the work seemed like a punishment and a useless chore. Yet now I look forward to the time I can spend without care or worry as I dig out unwanted weeds.
That’s a good thing since weeds do not stop growing! I can spend hours working in the garden, making sure that it is immaculate and pristine, and come back the next day to find a new set of weeds stubbornly about the business of growing right in the midst of my peppers, tomatoes, and basil.
Weeds are persistent (as anyone who has been away from the garden for more than a week knows), and if left untouched can and will take over a garden – choking out all the other plants.
In the Gospel today Jesus uses the example of weeds and seeds to convey some basic truths about our lives:
1. Patience is required to let the seeds grow.
2. Weeds are a part of life.
Every gardener knows that you cannot force a plant to grow; it develops over time at a set and natural pace. Patience is necessary to allow the seed to change and transform to full maturity. The plant needs time and steady attention if it is to flourish.
Gardeners also know that weeds are always present. Only through constant care and attention can a person stay on top of the weeds; discipline is required if the garden is to be kept in control.
The fact is, we live in the garden of life. Like a seed, we grow and mature through time and constant attention. Only through patient application can we become the creation that God dreams us to be.
Yet we also know that in our life there are weeds. Temptation and sin are a part of our world, and if left unattended they threaten to choke us off from God and one another.
May we place our trust in Christ, the master gardener, to help us with the weeds and the seeds!