weeds are the best of teachers

We spent nearly four hours ripping out weeds today.

We pulled, yanked, and threw out weed after weed. It’s not their fault, really. It’s all because we ignored them for months, pretended they didn’t exist, and walked around them as if we would pull up to our driveway one day and they would just be gone.

I’ve reminded Kyle for months–as if I don’t have hands –and blamed him for these weeds around our house that resemble a garden of procrastinators.

But. . . I have hands. And I have feet. And we have plenty of gloves and trash bags. I am perfectly capable of pulling out weeds, and moving along every inch until they’re all out.

And just like my heart, I ignore the weeds just long enough that when they grow beyond control, it’s too overwhelming, too daunting, and instead of leaning in to dig them out, I ignore and pretend they don’t exist. I hope and pray they’ll magically just disappear without any effort required.

But weeds don’t work that way. And neither does the heart.

Oh, I have issues. I pretend they don’t exist, but I know they sit dormant in my heart while I continue to ignore and change the subject. Like my garden of weeds, I notice them at the first bitter phrase or second exaggerated sentence, but instead of tending to it, I avoid it. Until it’s too late, when I’ve hurt someone with a cutting word, or said something I can’t take back.

And just like the garden of weeds that surrounded every inch of our house, the weeds of my heart are buried deep. And with every pull and tug, I couldn’t help but ask, “What would my heart look like if I paid this much attention?”

What if I truly gave people the permission to not let me get away with pride and arrogance?

What if I dug out all the weeds of my heart that kept me from growing, living, and really loving?

Four hours of weeding is too much. One week of ignoring is too dangerous. There’s too much at risk to leave my heart unchecked. Surrender looks like a daily pursuit of admitting that I cannot do this alone, and I desperately need to pick up the shovel and dig.

T.D. Jakes said it better,

“The sin is in the pride that stops us from admitting that we don’t know everything. The arrogance that we must always be the teacher and not the student. Of all things we fight about, tweet about, blog about, the thing God hated the most was pride. Nobody blogs or tweets about that. Often we have it and it goes untouched. The pride of life–the third dimension–we don’t teach or preach about it because it grows in our garden without ever being weeded.”

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