Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Creeping Charlie of It All

I love to garden. Except that I forget to weed, water, and otherwise invest in it. So maybe saying I love to garden is too strong a description...I enjoy planting things and watching them grow. It's in the general maintenance that I fall short.

This morning I gazed out my patio door at my handiwork and expense: the herbs and perennials I chose, dug holes for, and, with great expectation, buried up to their necks in the Miracle Gro soil Memorial Day weekend.

I could almost still see them through the weeds and warriors that had advanced on their safe havens like an encroaching army. Clover, creeping charlie, peppermint and lemon balm, all good and beautiful in their rightful places, stealing space from my little green babies.

Armed with my foam knee pad, a small shovel, and my bright orange garden gloves, I surrendered to the obvious task at hand: weed that garden. And, as usual, God speaks loudest to me when I'm on my knees, the natural posture for a reluctant gardener.

I grabbed a handful of creeping charlie, a deceptively destructive plant. Sporting lovely shaped green leaves and tiny purple flowers, it sends out tendrils to climb up the plants I'm actually trying to grow and chokes the life out of them. As I pulled and bagged, God brought to mind my own creeping charlies...those things that take over an otherwise fruitful life.

Trolling comes to mind when I think about creeping charlie's in my world....not fishing with a small motor hoping to catch something, but the metaphor works. I lose whole chunks of time on the internet, reading the Facebook statuses of "friends" I wouldn't recognize if I passed them on the street while my own family withers in front of me, getting lost on Pinterest because everything is just so cool, examining every kitchen light fixture that Wayfair offers....and did you know there's a zillion things for your home on Wayfair? Seriously. I've seen most of them.

Restlessness is a creeping charlie that is harder to pin down...a lack of satisfaction in my current status quo and a longing for new adventures. The Bible identifies this as discontent. Not that it isn't useful to propel me into new arenas, but when discontent breeds dissatisfaction, the by-product is discord. A whole host of dis-words for you...never a good thing. Sometimes it's a sign that God is awakening something new and I need to listen to that. Other times, it's a sign that I need a nap, a snuggle, and to engage in some serious worship.

MY...a two letter word that has the ability to take over the world. My agenda, my needs, my plans, my desires, my quiet time...if I am dead honest, I structure my life and my time to meet my needs. We all do. Even when we look like we sacrifice our all for someone else's needs...think suburban soccer mom who spends her life in her minivan carting children to and looks like she's giving everything up for her kids but in truth, she is serving the vision of what she imagines life is supposed to look like. (Not an indictment, just a statement.) We are all serving something and making room for it in our little patch of dirt we call life, but is it what the Lord wants us filling our gardens with?

What if we all committed to take a serious look at our gardens, our lives? Do we fill our time, our irreplaceable blink and its gone gift of time, with thoughts and activities that nourish our souls and those around us, or have we succumbed to just being satisfied with full schedules that result in the wrong harvest?

What is your creeping charlie?

Can I encourage you to get on your knees, shovel in hand, and see what's invaded your garden? Ask God to reveal them to you if it isn't obvious, although I suspect that deep down most of us know; it just takes courage and intention to deal with them.

 Like my garden reminds me, a once per season overhaul is less effective than consistent diligence.You will get your hands dirty and sweat might run into your eyes because this is hard work, but the result will be worth it.

"... let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us..." Hebrews 12:1

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful post, Debbie. Made me say "ouch" more than once! Time to find that shovel...