Gardening isn’t something that I’ve ever enjoyed. I blame Sundays.
Growing up, I could count on the following four things happening every. single. Sunday.
First, church. Next, change into swimsuits as soon as you get home and head outside to begin an hour or two of grueling yard work in the
sizzling balmy South Florida sun. Thirdly, end the agony by jumping into the swimming pool; and finally, follow it all up with soup and sandwiches on the patio.
As you can imagine, I learned a few lessons.
The first one left scars.
If we didn’t get out there and start all the weeding and what-not before the scorching Florida sunshine was fully ablaze, we’d find ourselves turning into crispy critters. And I did – on far too many occasions. As my handful of burnt off pre-melanomas proclaim. Putting sunscreen on, before heading out, always seemed like such a waste of time.
I’ll tell you what was wasted – my youth! Ol’ Georgie Bernard Shaw had it right.
I also learned that Sandwiches taste better after hard work. That was an easy one.
But, the lesson that has really grown a life of its own, has to do with weeds.
If you’ve ever pulled weeds, you can probably agree that weeding is not for the weak. There are some that require more than a short quick yank, to remove. Some weeds require a full-on excavation! They’ve got to be worked over with a spade, cajoled and wiggled, and maybe even wrung out with an extra pair of hands.
Sometimes, though, when time is tight and hands are scarce, those weeds start growing like crazy cakes. I say things like, “Oh, I’ll get to them next week,” and “Two weeks off isn’t gonna hurt much.” As long as those weeds aren’t eye-level and I can tamp them down with each footfall toward what I’d rather be doing, it’s no problem. Excuses pile up and before I know it, the weeds take over.
There are weeds in my life that have grown far too tall for me not to notice anymore. And some of them have become downright thorny!
Self-discipline may indeed be a Spirit that we’re promised to be given, but I was starting to wonder if a little less was sprinkled on me. Maybe the Self-discipline dispensary was near to empty? I don’t know.
What I do know, is that sometimes, I really have to dig deep to force myself to do things that I know I should be doing. And it’s becoming increasingly clear that I need to call on that self-discipline that I’ve been promised.
Exercise. Wiggle, cajole.
Ordering the egg-white wrap instead of the donut. Extra pair of lips to talk me down.
Spending daily time, quietly meditating on God’s Word – or even just thinking on all that I have to be thankful for! Get that spade – I need to dig!
Looking back, I think Ahab had it exactly right. Put God first, family time next (even if it was in the form of
torture yard work), and play to follow. I’m even thinking that the eating had its proper place right there at the end, too.
So, if you’ll excuse me, there is some weeding that must be done around here.
But first, please pass the sunscreen?