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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Beautiful weeds

One day as I was leaving the office, I noticed a lovely plant on closer inspection, it was a weed. The next day when walking to the office, I noticed a cluster of flowers  - actually weeds - then this title sprung up in my heart.

If we want to speak idiomatically we'd say: "Not all that glitters is gold" - isn't that so true. It is even more interesting how many different forms and colours weeds appear in - have you noticed that too? I'll put a few examples here...

So what are the functions of weeds other than to take up space, be an irritation, choke and stifle life out of the plants we want to grow? They may also be there to challenge the plants to be courageous enough to ignore them (the weeds) and keep growing. However, the danger in this is if not checked, the weeds could eventually win if the plants are not properly rooted. (Botanists may put it differently).
Too many times we let the "beauty" of things blind us to their destructive nature. It could be a friendship with a "popular" person who is all about themselves and enjoys running you down. It could also be the things you watch, read or even things you permit to be done or said around you. For instance, I noticed that after a few weeks of working with people who have a very different (unsavoury) vocabulary from mine, their words sometimes came to mind when I wanted to describe things...
I had to (& still) consciously and continuously say "No".  
Altogether, I believe there are at least three things we must all note about (and do to) weeds:
  1. We cannot avoid weeds from springing up...they will always find a space for themselves whether we desire them or not. In Matthew 13: 25-40, the enemy sowed tares (weeds) while (wo)men slept...sleep is just a lack of awareness/alertness.
  2. We must be able to identify weeds. The workers noticed the difference - they spotted the weeds early. Possibly, the farmer felt the tares will help the plants strive to overcome the weeds. We need to do the same. Weeds come in different ways - it could very well be the "good" things of a preacher said recently, there's nothing wrong with having things; things go wrong when things have you. We must be alert to avoid that.
  3. We must do something about the weeds. There was a time when the tares had to be uprooted and...thrown into the fire. We must be able to separate ourselves from people and/or things that aim to choke life out of us. Separating ourselves includes focussing more on God than on the situation e.g. in a challenging marriage situation.
Beware of beautiful weeds -
being beautiful doesn't change the fact that they are weeds -
uproot and cast them into the fire. 

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