Weeds Crouching At My Door

The bane of horticultural endeavor was the subject of my previous post. Would anyone dispute weeds are tenacious, sometimes nigh intractable?

Certainly, extricating weeds at their roots is the most highly-effective practice. But take a look at this picture on the left; ask yourself (as I did) how much time might be required to extract each and every remnant of each and every blade of grass and each and every embedded, omnidirectional root.

Knowing the back-breaking effort and number of hours I’d spent in previous summers before eventually reaching the halfway point, I dreaded continuing and longed for an alternative solution. I convinced myself there had to be a better (read:  quicker) method for permanent eradication. An online search failed to provide satisfactory guidance, so I opted for the nearby garden center.

Keep in mind, I’m a novice. Did I ask for help? Well … no. In my quest for an “easy” fix, I purchased what I thought to be a suitable product. If labels are to be believed, this quick fix would save untold hours of spade-in-hand weed abatement. The product promised:  “Visible Results as fast as 3 Hours … Kills over 155 Types of Weeds.” A perfectly-groomed garden suddenly seemed within reach!

Cautiously applying the product (at that point, my veggies were already planted), I sprayed individual blades of grass with the same viciousness I’d apply to cockroach annihilation. These weeds were my sworn enemies!

Did the quick-fix work? Oh, yes. Within 24 hours, the weeds were noticeably yellow, and by the end of a week, they were dead.

My haste, however, killed off far more than the weeds. (I can offer excuses. Last summer’s weather extremes contributed to a minimal harvest, but the Spectracide — despite my cautious application — doesn’t distinguish “good” plants from unwanted weeds. Alas, I had only myself to blame.)

Whether in horticulture or life, usually quick fixes are neither quick nor true fixes. [On occasion, the quick fix serves in the short term to avert disaster; for example, duct tape in my car would provide a stop-gap remedy were a hose to split while I’m on the road. But when I arrive home, a proper fix is applied or I’m inviting future disaster.]

I’m learning the good news about garden failures — they don’t last forever.  My failures and missteps augment my understanding of Creation. Unlike human offspring, a crop can be yanked up and replanted. Plants never sass; they flourish with my oversight, leaves grow larger and greener, their fruit yields willingly, and as I care for them, my Creator reminds me of his loving care.

Like Spectracide, sin destroys. It’s a killer. The Good News is sin’s remedy has already been effected! Jesus eschewed the proverbial quick fix; he willingly walked into Jerusalem (Isaiah 53:7 says “like a lamb led to slaughter”) and he climbed a hill to “the place of the scull” (Golgotha) where he was crucified, paying the penalty for my sin.

He is the God of all Creation. I’m privileged to be a student in his wide and magnificent classroom.

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