Today was a perfect day to meet my mom’s love language of Acts of Service (Chapman 87-102) and to finish up her delayed Mothers’ Day present of weeding together. Although I hate bug spray (which is a must any time this tasty morsel that I am works outside), I don’t really mind pulling weeds. First of all, it fulfills my love of accomplishment. Secondly, it takes advantage of my squatting talent. (If our sons become catchers on a baseball team, I’ll feel like I’ve given them my one sporty skill.)
As I plucked weed after weed, I started thinking about roots. The part of weeding I’m not so good at—which is sadly the most important part—is getting to the root so that the offender won’t come back again. This made me think about how, in life, we too often find a temporary solution for our troubles, or take away the visible signs (the top part of the weed) without really fixing whatever is wrong. Things will look good for a while, but when we leave the root, the problem will soon sprout back up again.
For some reason, the larger weeds are much easier to pull up, perhaps because they have shallower roots or because they have more to hold onto, better ensuring a firm tug. It’s tempting to focus on these, because success is simpler. But we cannot forget the value of challenging ourselves in life, even if failure is a possibility.
Finally, I am always astonished by the resilience of weeds. They can take root in tiny crevices of pavement that we don’t even know exist, until that green comes popping through. And some weeds require a lot more digging. My mom told me to use the trowel on nut sage: the roots were just too deep for me to get at on my own. That trowel made me think of my good friends, who build me up and call me out: play with me and pray with me.
Who knew a day of digging in the dirt would bring such inspiration? Answer—Henry David Thoreau: “My profession is to always find God in nature.” Sounds like a good career to me.
Chapman, Gary. The 5 Love Languages. Chicago: Northfield, 1995. Print.
Thoreau, Henry David. “Nature Quotes.” Inspirationquotes.com. Barbara Jean. n.d. Web. 20 May 2012.
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