A few weeks ago I was rushing back from the store to catch a Joel Osteen sermon on TV, but my little patch of yard in front of the townhouse caught my attention. I decided to stop and pull weeds before going into the house. In the next hour, as I pulled weeds, so many thoughts crossed my mind I found myself in prayer right there in the dirt. Certain thoughts occurred.
“It’s best to pull weeds up from the roots so they don’t grow back,” I thought as I pulled carefully. Then I wondered, “What beliefs are my problems rooted in? Isn’t it time to uproot some of those old beliefs?”
I grew up in the 70s when Black power nationalist rhetoric had us not only questioning “The System,” but challenging it. This was necessary at the time. It afforded me opportunities to work, live, shop, and eat in places that otherwise would have remained off limits to me and other non-whites. But it is time I release some of that suspicion that everything about and everyone in “the system” is designed for my exploitation and early demise.
I considered beliefs I had about marriage that probably need to be uprooted. Beliefs I have about organized religion. It’s time to plant new seeds.
As I was pulling weeds, I remembered something someone told me about weeds: weeds can spring from seeds blown into your garden by the wind. I realized, too, that in my life new problems will occur, some of my own making and some brought in from influences, comments, and actions beyond my control. “Just be prepared to pull the weeds again,” I thought.
I stuffed weeds and the roots into a garbage bag, and stepped back to survey my handy work. I decided to plant pretty flowers around the bushes so weeds won’t be the only things catching my attention. I stood there in the silence of the Sunday morning and in my heart I prayed:
“God I thank You for making me aware that I must, as often as necessary, weed the garden of my life, pulling out the weeds of doubt (self-doubt and doubt blown into my consciousness by others). Thank You for helping me weed out despair and disappointment so they do not choke the life out of my field of faith.
“God thank You for making me aware that I must intentionally plant the colorful flowers I prefer (the flowers of success in family relations, finances, professional pursuits). Thank You for reminding me to water and weed and fully appreciate the garden of my life.”