one at a time

I started digging dandelions out of our lawn on a Saturday. I had wanted to put fertilizer with weed-killer on the lawn. I couldn’t get the timing right between rain and projects. So I started digging dandelions on Saturday.

One a time. Section by section. Front yard, then back. Stooping, then kneeling.

It took time, but there weren’t drifts of color, only dots.

I walked into the house. “The lawn is free of blooming dandelions,” I said calmly. I wasn’t using the British sense of the word bloomin’. I was being precise, knowing that there were unblooming dandelions.

When I walked out of the house early Sunday morning on my way to church, I was pleased. There were still no blooming dandelions. Five hours later, the lawn was littered with yellow dots.

Even though I wasn’t surprised, I was slightly annoyed. I wanted them gone.
dots

That evening, I went on dandelion patrol. And the next day. And the next. For a week I dug up every dandelion that dared show a sunny face. And then I quit. I can’t remember why. I think they gave up. I know I got busy with other projects, other passions. Like picking up rocks and mowing the lawn.

I’m guessing that right now you are making applications about this story. It’s turning into a metaphor, where the lawn is my life and the dandelions are sins. And then it feels like a cliche.

I understand. Cliches feel so, um, cliche. We want to ignore them, to find some amazing fresh insight.

In the meantime, there are dandelions in our lawn and they will not disappear unless they are removed, regardless of how much I want something fresh and new.

So, every day, if I want a dandelion-free lawn, I need to dig them up.

 

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

3 thoughts on “one at a time

  1. Unfortunately, I tend to take the ROUNDUP approach too often. Then I spend a lot of time re-planting grass. Short-term shortcut, long-term bigger problem.

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  2. Jon, after 32 years working for IBM, laid off/retired last summer, and jumping right into a graduate program in choral conducting, I am starting my first 3-month summer vacation since I was in grade school. After reading your thoughts from today and a separate devotional entry, I am thinking that I’m going to be doing quite a bit of “garden weeding” over the next couple of months! Hugh McDevitt

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