When we moved into our new home, we were excited to have a big backyard that the owners would let us landscape...with grass! But, there were lots of stickery weeds that covered the backyard. They were everywhere and the thought of pulling them and clearing the land so that we could landscape was overwhelming. I was anxious to get it all done right away so that I could get the grass planted so that we could enjoy the yard. But, I just didn't know where to start. One day, I decided I would just clear a small area so that I could at least set up the trampoline so that the kids could have somewhere to go when I kicked them out of the house! Danny and I worked for a little while one Saturday and got a space cleared for the trampoline and a walkway to it. Then on another day we cleared a few more and we worked an hour here, an hour there over the past several weeks. It was hot and they were tough to pull and there were many times that I wanted to give up and just hire someone to do it, but we kept at it little by little. We worked for a couple of hours this past Saturday and were almost done, but we pooped out...it was just too hot and we were tired. Just one more week and we would be done. Then last night it rained. The weeds are a lot easier to pull when the ground is wet, so instead of waiting for the weekend when Danny could help, I went out and finished the lower portion of the yard. What a good feeling! It is not perfect and we have some fine-tuning to do, but the bulk of the dirty work is done.
While we were pulling the weeds, surprisingly, we found that the bigger tumbleweeds were easier to pull out than all the little ones. There was more to hold on to and they we easier to grasp near the root. The littler ones sometimes required the help of a shovel to get the whole root. Now that all the non-fun work is done, we can get to the good stuff...grass, plants, flowers!
Life is like my yard. We have so much potential but there are many things that we need to "pull out" ie: our sins and shortcomings. When we look at all of them and think about all the things that we need to change, we can become overwhelmed and don't know where to start. This can make us feel discouraged and not want to do anything at all. We may feel like we don't want to do it, it's too hard, and wish that we could get someone to do it for us. It helps if we have someone to help us like a spouse, family member or friend. We just need to remember to do it little by little, there is no time limit, we have eternity to work on it. The important part is that we are working at it and eventually we will look back and see how far we have come.
This morning as I was out pulling the weeds after the rain, it made me think about the times that I have felt the Spirit so strong during a lesson or such and felt the overwhelming desire to change. If we act upon that feeling right away, it makes the changing easier, like the rain made the weeds easier to pull. If I had waited a few days the ground would have dried and the weeds would have been more difficult. If we don't act upon the Spirit when we feel it, that feeling will fade and the changing becomes more difficult once again.
Many of us have gotten rid of the major sins (big tumbleweeds) and know how to avoid them, therefore making them easier to uproot if they are introduced into our lives. Now we end up struggling with all those little habits and shortfalls (small weeds) that keep us from our goals. We need to attack those, sometimes with a little extra help and digging. If we work at them one by one, a little at a time, we will be able to overcome and then we get to the fun part of decorating our lives with all the good things that the Lord has in store for us.
What are some effective ways that you have found to "pull weeds"?