Lessons from Nature

Hubby and I participated in our subdivision’s yearly weed cleanup. We have a lot of weeds because our subdivision is along the Boise River. After last year’s flooding, all kinds of weeds are coming up where the soil was disturbed. We also have blackberry bushes that must be kept in check. After a few minutes of instruction on what kinds of weeds to look for, off we went with snips and trowels in hand. The river sounds provided the music to work by.

I spent most of the day pulling up mullen weeds and poison hemlock. They were thick! Mullen weeds are visually ugly when in the middle of a patch of grass, and poison hemlock is dangerous, especially to children and pets. The first part of the 3-hour workout, I bent over to pull them up. After that, I crawled on my hands and knees pulling them, then got up to carry them to a pile where someone would come haul them off. Up and down. Up and down. I am SO sore tonight!

As I’ve always done with monotonous work, my mind wandered and entertained me. I learned a lot of lessons from my close-up view of nature, and I thought I’d share them:

Matthew 7:24-27. The parable about the foolish man building his house on the sand, and when the storms came, it fell. The flood left a lot of areas covered in sand. The weeds were very thick there, and I loved pulling them out because it took little effort. Just pull a little and all the roots came out. The weeds that were in the rocks were VERY hard to get up because their roots were tangled around the rocks and wouldn’t let go. What is the lesson? Growing your hopes, dreams, and life in the sand makes it very easy for someone to come along and destroy it all. Grow in a place where you have an anchor, and the effort to remove you is very, very hard. Build your life on something solid, where your roots have something to hang on to so that when the bad times come, you’ll withstand the storms and people with trowels who try to destroy you. Even if they hurt you a little, you’ll come back because your roots are safe and firm.

I Corinthians 15:33. Evil company corrupts good habits. The subdivision has carefully tended the area along the river, planting grass, keeping invasive plant species in check, and grooming the area for beauty and wildlife. In the middle of the grassy sections, clumps of poison hemlock grew, especially where the water had covered it. In digging the hemlock out, I had to take out of some of the nice grass that we’d worked so hard to grow. It was inevitable. The grass around the weed had to go too because their roots were tangled together. Lesson I learned? If you choose to live close to things that are harmful, your roots will get tangled up in them. You may have had good intentions and thought you’d be safe, but your roots and the roots of evil beside you get too tangled up together to free yourself when the bad is plucked away. You’ll have no choice but to go with it. The farther you are away from evil, the more fertilizer and care you get, and the better you grow. Avoid having weeds in your life lest you get plucked up along with them.

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