Weeds are opportunists.
Weeds are bullies.
Weeds are homesteaders.
Weeds are undomesticated flowers.
Weeds are parasites.
When Jesus talks about planting seeds, weeds are the plants that grow quickly, get intertwined with the plants that people want, and use up resources so much that they hamper or choke out desirable plants. Weeds have so adapted for their own survival that they survive at the expense of other plants. Vining weeds crawl their way up the stalk and around the leaves of plants we want. Thistles and dandelions are so good at reseeding that they can take over a flower bed or a lawn, crowding out other plants with their big leaves.
Jesus talks about the worries of life and the deceitfulness of wealth. Keeping up with other people’s expectations can take all of our energy and we don’t have time to converse with God. Wealth can tell us that the way to happiness is more wealth. And soon, we can’t even hear the good news of the kingdom, news that says we don’t have to spend our life attempting to keep up.
Nancy spends little bits of time weeding. I’m more likely to get involved when weeds have taken over an area and I use the shovel to dig up everything. Although I don’t have the patience for it, Nancy’s way is better. Removing the weeds when they are small keeps their damage to a minimum.
This probably applies to messy workbenches and desks. But I’m not sure Jesus was worried about that. “Cleanliness is next to godliness” is an organizing expert who happened to have an out-of-work theologian as a press agent.
What Jesus was concerned about was the noise of worry and wealth getting so loud in our ears that our hearts can’t hear the invitation to care for each other, to care about each other, to extend the work of the kingdom of God to the people who are at the edges of every other kingdom. When we help ourselves and others remove those weeds, we’ll grow better.
As I said in yesterday’s prayer, I can lay down my phone.
On Friday, I wrote about helping kids. As of the end of that day, we had more than $1750 toward the goal of $3000. Thanks to those of you who have helped.