Monday, August 24, 2009

A weed or not a weed? That is the question

Earlier this week I was looking out my office window anticipating the arrival of my sweet Bible study group and I noticed something interesting in my front flower bed. I have an area near my front door of stacked stones with decorative grasses planted behind them. I have no idea what it’s called, but I love them because they’re hardy and haven’t died in our harsh Texas summer. The grasses are long and green with soft, fuzzy plumes at the end that looks a lot like fuzzy wheat. As I was admiring the grasses, I noticed that there was one small tuft that didn’t have any plumes on it. Upon further inspection, I realized that the grass blades were just a little different from the rest of the blades too. Then with a gasp I suddenly realized that wasn’t decorative grass at all it was a weed! I walk past those grasses several times a week but this was the first time that I had realized that a weed had made itself at home as it pretended to be decorative grass.

In the book of Matthew, Jesus teaches us a parable about the wheat and the weeds. He mentions that the weeds look just like the wheat and have grown amongst the wheat stalks and that they would be separated at the time of judgment. The wheat represents those who believe in the redeeming power of Christ while the weeds were the evil unbelievers who worshipped worldly things and not God. In this parable Jesus was describing the day of judgment but the same concept can be applied in our daily lives as well.

Years ago, I used to teach a class of 3 year olds at our previous church. During second service I would put on my happy teacher face, plaster on a smile and endure those kiddos for an hour that would never end…every week! By the time I was done in that class I was irritable, stressed out, frustrated and needed to attend church all over again. I did this every week for a year! The curriculum was followed, animal crackers distributed and runny noses wiped but I was not the blessing that I should have been for those kiddos. I was a weed in the garden. My presence there was certainly not harmful to anyone, but my heart wasn’t in it. I was not doing what I was gifted in, the kiddos were not getting the enthusiasm that they deserved and I was robbing the blessing from the person who should have been in that class. Ironically, now my 13 year old daughter teaches in a class of 3 year olds and loves it! No one was standing in the way of the role that God intended for her and she serves as a reminder to me that God has given us talents and gifts that are so unique.

This week I encourage you to consider the things you’re currently involved in. Do you enjoy it? Are you doing it because you want to or because you feel you need to? Is your heart fully engaged in those things or are you feeling disconnected? You owe it to yourself and others to evaluate your role from time to time. Seasons can change in our lives and soon we begin to realize that we’re no longer producing the beautiful plume… we’ve become the weed!

Be blessed,
Jennifer

Parable of the Weeds can be found in Matthew 13:24-30

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