Monday, May 14, 2012

Fifty Acres and Fool: More Weeds -- and God

I took a break from farming this weekend -- a combination birthday gift to myself and Mothers Day present for Nancy. We went to southern Indiana to visit some family there. The men-f0lk went golfing (I shot a 97, not bad for my first time this year), the women went shopping, we all went out to eat, and then to a movie. It was a nice relaxing time.

It rained a good bit while we were there. In fact it rained a whole freakin' bunch. Which would have made me feel not so bad for not being homing snuffing out weeds except I checked the weather report which reported that our place, just two "r's" (as they say in southern Indiana) to the north was basking under sunny skies and mild temperatures.

Perfect weed growing weather.

So I fretted a bit -- thinking I should be Round-up-ping the dastardly poke berry and its noxious relatives whose sole evil purpose (other than to survive) was to make my prairie life miserable. I should be home, I thought, removing every stain of weedy sin from the land so that a wonderful crop of WSG and forbs might emerge to the glory of ... well, um, Brent.

During one of my weedy musings, the thought occurred to me that I may care a whole lot more about weeds -- both real and metaphoric -- than God does.

Part of that comes from remembering an old joke about story about a man who bought a farm that was overgrown with bushes and weeds. The place was a mess. But slowly the man began to clear the weeds and bush and turned the farm into a show place -- weed free and verdant. One day the man's minister came to visit, and when he saw the beautiful flowers and plants, he observed, "Well, friend, you and God have done a marvelous job on this garden."

To which the homeowner replied, "You should have seen it when God had it by himself."

I feel that way sometimes. Yep, when God had Ploughshares by himself, he pretty much let it go to seed -- bush honeysuckle seed, poke berry seed, etc. It's taking a lot of work to clear the invasives out and let the good stuff grow. Blood, sweat, and tears -- literally.

And, truth be told, should I stop doing this, then in a few years, the place would be busy and weedy again. And God would not seem to care. Birds would still nest, coyotes would make their dens, deer would tramp down the tall grass for their beds, bees would zoom around the poke berry and bush honeysuckle and iron weed and milkweed and... life would go on. And it would be -- if not aesthetically pleasing as I want -- still good.

And I wondered -- do I worry too much about weeding in my life? Weeding the teeny-tiny sins out? OCD for righteousness?

Some of that nature in me, comes, I know, from growing up in a place where altar calls were not uncommon and guilt was the faith flavor of the day. We were sinners facing the wrath of an -- if not angry -- pretty peeved God. And at 9 and 10 I knew I was sinner and sins that needed to be rooted out like weeds -- even if I couldn't quite figure out what they were. I mean, I was serial smart-ass, not a serial killer.

But it's a tendency that's hard to shake after all these years -- the need for perfection, to root out evil. Even though, when I get to the end of my field and look back and see sin seedlings popping up!

How can that be?

I'm starting to decide that it can be because that's how human life it. We sow good and sometimes weed seeds blow in -- just like on the farm.

And God does not seem to be overly upset with it. From my reading of scripture, that's what grace is all about. It's not by our works (weeding) but by our faith (trusting in God) that we are saved. And by saved I mean become a beautiful garden for God.

So, in an attempt to be less O-Weed-D, I'm not going to spray tonight. I'll let the seeds and tares spring up together.

Tomorrow, though, them weeds better watch out!

-- Brent

1 comment:

Michael said...

Good thoughts, Friend.

I tend to look on "weeds" as plants growing in places we don't want them.

Not sure how what that means if "weeds = sins." Something about wrong time or place or person for whatever I am grasping after.

I remember from Unity Church decades ago the teaching that "desire" is God's way of telling you that what you really want and need is already on its way to you.

The trick is to wait for God to show you what that is, rather than trying to guess and grab.

So, if I long for the sports car on the street, perhaps God is sending me what would be "right transportation" for me...but maybe not a sports car.

Thanks, again.