Each day after work, I stroll around our house with my wife and one-year-old daughter. We stack blocks in the driveway, tweet at birds, and wave at passing cars. Sometimes my daughter does these things, too.
But really we’re on a mission. Since three-quarters of the house’s perimeter is mulched flower beds or garden, unwanted weeds have a lot of room to show their ugly heads.
It’s my job to stop them (cue heroic symphonic music).
As I take ten minutes to pull unwanted weeds, my daughter mimics me, kneeling beside the mulch or the little garden. I teach her which plants belong and which need to be uprooted.
Although it’d be easy to let the weeds go for a while, I’ve learned that this daily routine saves me from hours on the weekends spraying poison, kneeling in the afternoon sun, and taking time away from my family. It allows me to focus on the important things, including the really big projects when they come up.
So how often do our lives fill up with weeds? How often do we let worry and bad habits and envious consumerism take root in our thought lives? Unfortunately the weeds that grow in our lives don’t pull out so easily. If we wait too long, if we let them take root, they can choke out the promise of the good things that should be in their place. Luckily a few small activities can save some big trouble:
Pray – Make it part of your daily routine. Before meals, as you go to bed, and on your way to work, a little quiet time with God can go a long way.
Read – The Bible is Round-Up for your soul. Let this be part of your daily walk and see if pesky weeds stand a chance.
Talk – Build in time to talk about your challenges with your spouse, your children, your spiritual community, and a few friends who will hold you accountable. There’s nothing like having someone ask you, “Have you pulled your weeds this week?” to keep you on track.
Ten minutes at a time these habits give me the focus, energy, and encouragement I need to tackle my weeds. The hope is that as my daughter watches me nurture my spirit, she learns how to tend her own as well. And that’s the kind of growth I think we’d all like to see.
So how do you pull your weeds?