If you stay out longer than a few minutes, the only word that truly describes how you feel is “nasty.” Sweaty, greasy, grimy, sandy, and swarming with gnats and yellow flies. As uncomfortable as it is, I still try to get all my yard work done then, before the temperature rises to match the humidity and the sub-tropical sun beats on you as mercilessly as an Egyptian taskmaster. I spray the underside of my garden hat brim with Off and don my work out clothes. No need messing up something else with gray grime that will never come out once you have soaked them in the righteous sweat of labor, for dripping with it you will be.
This morning I spent the time in the raised bed around the trellises. With a wetter summer than we have had in years, the weeds grow more thickly than the grass and flowers. I weed one bed, and the next week it looks like I haven’t touched it in a month. So I went around pulling out grass sprigs, dollarweed, castor beans, and half a dozen oak trees.
You read that right—oak trees. I am not Mrs. Paul Bunyan—none of those discarded oak trees were over 6 inches tall. Some of them even had the acorn still attached to the roots when I pulled it out of the ground. It was easy. One quick rip and up they came. Pulling up trees is simple when you get them at six inches. Even waiting till they are a foot tall makes a significant difference in how difficult it is to uproot them.
Yet isn’t that what we do in our lives? We wait till the soap scum is flaky gray and a quarter inch thick before we get out the scrub brush, when a two minute wipe each week would save us twenty minutes of elbow grease every month. We wait till the fat rolls over our waistbands, when losing five pounds every six months would save us the agony of an 800 calorie a day diet for a year to lose thirty. We wait till our lives are falling apart, when realigning ourselves a quarter inch every day would have kept the Devil at bay.
Isn’t it time to wise up a little? Isn’t it time to do a little work to save the pain that results from neglect?
Have a conversation with God every day, throughout the day, while you wash those dishes or walk the dog or trim the hedges. When something serious arises and you really need the help, you won’t have to wonder if He’ll be there for you or if He gave up on you long ago. (He does do that, you know, give up on people, Jer 11:11; 14:12; Ezek 8:18; Mic 3:4; Zech 7:13, etc.).
Start reading your Bible now, a little every day, adding some serious and diligent study as you go along, learning some good study techniques from those who know them and want so badly to share. Then when your neighbor asks you a question, you just might be able to answer him, instead of standing there like a fool, red with embarrassment.
Begin working on those problems you have, the ones that nag you day after day. Make a plan and begin to weed the sin out of your life like a six inch oak tree. If it becomes the behemoth that stands over your house, you will never get rid of it, but the Devil will be more than happy to take advantage of the shade.
…looking carefully lest there be any man that fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby the many be defiled; Hebrews 12:15.