I used my Saturday Power Hour to weed the “flower” beds by my front door this morning. If this doesn’t seem like an event to write about, let me explain. It’s July in Oklahoma which means the morning temps are already in the 90’s and it’s been upper 90’s for weeks and triple digits for the last few days. It is a heat advisory weekend. It will be hot, hot, hot until Halloween; therefore not the best morning to be outside gardening. However, the choice was between sweating profusely and having to stare at weeds that were almost as tall as I am. The house was two weeks away from looking abandoned. I really want my house to look nice. I want to present a pleasing image to the neighborhood or at least not be THAT house. So, out in the heat I went. As I was
sweating weeding I realized that if I had planned my
landscaping according to season, I wouldn’t have to be outside in July. If I weeded and mulched and planted in April
and May, these weeds wouldn’t have taken over.
The problem is I didn’t want to work.
I really want there to be garden fairies who magically work all night so
I can wake up and enjoy a beautiful yard without having to do any work.
The unfortunate part is that life doesn’t work that way. The only thing I don’t have to work for is God’s love; everything else requires planning and participation. You might be saying, “You can pay people to weed.” Why yes I could; that still takes planning to earn the money to pay professionals. I need to be willing to do the hard work in order to enjoy the fruits of my labor.
Our spiritual life is the same way. I have been spending time getting back to basics, intentionally carving time to read scripture, examine my life and actively seek God’s presence and direction. Returning to a schedule, a rhythm, of my everyday life to plot a course in the direction I want to go. If you don’t plot your course, you won’t get where you want to be. You get tossed about from place to place. Most people wake up and wonder how they got here. I don’t want to be that person. Not being that person takes work. That’s where desire and reality collide. I don’t want to put in the hard work of examining my life. It takes time, it can be painful because I make mistakes, I would rather binge watch Sherlock. So things slide, the calendar fills up with events and I am very busy. Then just like the weeds, I wake up one day and realize I am overgrown. I forgot to schedule the important things. I forgot that I can’t do everything. I forgot to orient my to-do list around the person I am called to be. So, when this happens, it takes extra effort to weed and prune and clear away the weeds that have encroached on my purpose. It takes more work than if I had keep the constant, steady rhythm of daily discipline but the alternative is letting the weeds overrun the place.
While I am weeding I ask myself these questions. Does my current calendar clearly show that I invest my energy in what I called to be? If not, what needs to go? Does my calendar include time and space to listen to God? Invest in relationships? Have fun? If not, I am too busy and I need to stop. Am I better than I was yesterday, last month, last year? This is tricky because there are seasons and if you work on one part of your life, you will then turn back around and work on another. Maturing is more of a spiral than a straight line. Here’s my biggest questions: Does my energy go to the things I am uniquely called to do? There are many things that distract me, have I chosen the best thing? These questions are hard and the answers usually require more work but they are worth the work because the alternative is a life of weeds.