Monday, December 23, 2013

Child Labor and my obligation to pull weeds taller than 12 year old me.

My parents recently bought some land here in Montana. I love this. However, they still live in El Paso, so I don't see them as frequently as I should. When they bought the land my dad told me something along the lines of, "We bought the land, but you have to take care of it... you know, pull the weeds and make sure it's presentable..." To which I replied, "Why don't you come visit and pull your own weeds." I think we both got a good laugh out of that... because once the snow thaws out I'm sure I'll end up pulling some weeds. So he get's the lawn taken care of and I get to be sassy. It's a win-win situation... except I kind of lose. But you get the point.

Growing up I think we had genetically modified weeds growing in our back yard. Like... weeds on hormones... like weeds that have been juicing... like weeds that could beat you at an arm wrestling match. When the weeds got to be taller than me that's usually when it became a chore to go pull them. Now, I'm not saying I'm the only one that ever pulled weeds, and I'm not saying that I ever did it with a smile on my face, but I am saying those were some gnarly ridiculous weeds that I rightfully was not pleased to be uprooting. Anyway, some weeds were easy to pull... the smaller ones, the weaklings of weed land. I'd tackle those first. I was the Godzilla of weed land. All weeds feared my mighty hand. All the weeds in weed land feared my wrath! There was victory to be had at my hand in the small weeds. I was the embodiment of strength when it came to the small weeds. A little twist of the wrist and I was taking down those small weeds with the mindset that I was rooting up oaks... but they weren't oaks. They were only little weeds. Those bigger ones though... they weren't from weed land. They set their roots in the depths of Hades. Those bigger one's were my kryptonite... my darkest foes... they were unconquerable... and they usually had thorns... and my hand are sensitive... so I did not like the big weeds.

Nevertheless, when I couldn't uproot a weed, I'd usually settle for hacking it down (probably with a butter knife from the kitchen) then I'd cover the little stem up with dirt (and probably the knife too). Even though there may have been a whole root system that looked like an ant farm underneath our back yard, at least the surface of the land earned me my allowance.

Worry tends to be a lot like weeds in my experience. And the solution to your anxiety isn't to cut it down or try to cover it up. That weed with always grow back. You so desperately need to get to the root of your problem if you're ever going to be liberated from it. This is to say, your circumstance ultimately isn't what your problem is. Your problem is what you're choosing to focus on. When you choose to be anxious, when you choose to dwell on how everything can go wrong, that's the root of your problem. I think more often than not, the real problem isn't just my refusal to trust God... but rather, my refusal to rejoice in Him in it. I get so caught up in worrying about anxieties or fears or worries or whatever that I forget I'm supposed to be rejoicing in Him. And that's a really big distinction. It's the difference between looking at your situation in a negative light and being filled with turmoil, and looking at your situation in the light of God and being filled with peace.

Like bigger weeds, bigger worries take more digging to root up. The bigger issues take examining your heart, examining the Word and having the Spirit enlighten in you what the real problem is. More often than not, I don't think the solution is going to be, "just forget about it, just push it aside, just pretend it never happened." but rather, "I surrender this and will wait to see how you work things out for good, in patience, with joy."

For you (and so much for me)- I hope and pray all endurance and patience with joy. Not just endurance. Not just patience. But joy. Never has endurance and patience been so good as when done with joy.

"May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,"
-Colossians 1:11

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