Have you ever been responsible for a task you didn’t particularly enjoy? Perhaps you can relate to one homemaker who developed a unique perspective on some of her less enjoyable household duties. She said: I don’t do windows because I love birds and don’t want one to run into a clean window and get hurt. I don’t wax floors because I am terrified a guest will slip and get hurt, and then I’ll feel terrible. I don’t disturb cobwebs because I want every creature to have a home of their own. I don’t do Spring Cleaning because I love all the seasons and don’t want the others to get jealous. I don’t put things away because my husband will never be able to find them again. I don’t do gourmet meals when I entertain because I don’t want my guests to stress out over what to make when they invite me over for dinner. I don’t iron because I choose to believe them when they say “Permanent Press.”
Some jobs are just no fun! And we can find a million reasons to avoid them. Outdoor tasks can present their challenges as well.
For the gardener, planting seeds is the easy part of having a successful garden. It is much more time consuming to weed the garden. As someone has said: “When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it’s the valuable plant.”
There is a corollary to that truth: “To distinguish flowers from weeds, simply pull up everything. What grows back are the weeds.”
The weary gardener might find an excellent excuse, “I don’t pull weeds because I don’t know the flowers from the weeds.”
Perhaps this is what the farmer in Jesus’ parable was thinking. His servants came to him to tell him of the weeds in his wheat. When they asked if they should pull up the weeds the farmer replied: “‘No, because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest.'”
Weeding is hard work, not just in the garden but in the church as well. But the good news is, in the church weeding is not our job. It is work that is best left up to the Master Gardener, Jesus. He’ll take care of the weeding at the end of time. He’s the One who knows the difference between wheat and weeds. We can leave that job to Him.
Your friend in faith,