Walking through the neighborhood, I noticed a plant creeping over rocks and squeezing its way through the cracks between wood, brick, and concrete. Dark green foliage covered by delicate yellow flowers, blossoms giving way to orange seedpods.
For months, I walked past these beautiful climbers thinking this would be a great addition to my backyard. They seem to grow well in direct sun and are quite content with minimal water.
During one of the walks, I found a small plant nestled between flowerbed and sidewalk. I scooped it up, stuffed it in my coat pocket, and once I reached home planted it in my backyard.
After a few months, the plant had doubled in size. A month later, it was starting to creep along the dry riverbed that runs nearly the length of our yard. It was doing exactly what I hoped it would do; form a beautiful blanket over what was bare ground.
But something just didn’t seem right. This plant was growing way too fast and behaving like some of the invasive plants I’ve worked hard to keep out of my garden.
Using the garden app on my phone, I identified my fast-growing friend and there was a reason it was growing so quickly. It was a WEED! And not just a simple ordinary weed but a noxious weed banned because of its fast growth and ability to literarily take over the yard, community, the state. The app warned to eliminate the plant immediately.
I put down my phone, grabbed the plant where stem meets ground, and yanked. With the monster weed in hand, I moved to the trashcan and tossed it in.
This plant had been the envy of my eyes for months. I marveled at the beautiful clusters of flowers and admired how quickly it spread. Let’s be real, I evaluated seedlings for weeks to find the perfect one and then planted the thing in my yard. I inadvertently, unknowingly, yet purposefully, planted destruction on my plot of land. I watered and nurtured it, doing all I could to encourage it to grow. And all the while, it waited to sow its seeds in my yard, the neighboring slope, and my neighbors’ yards. Seeds that ultimately would lead to frustration and harm.
If I’m completely honest, I do the same thing in my life. I sow seeds of doubt and fear that grow into monstrous vines, strangling my faith. I allow the world to plant seeds of devastation in my mind, and I unconsciously, yet carefully, water them, fertilizing each lie, and then wonder why my value never measures up or why my life is filled with self-control, pride, and selfishness.
Sisters, we must be careful about what we plant, what we nurture, the things we allow to grow up, and influence our lives. Some of them may look beautiful, they may provide comfort and happiness, but in reality, be the very things that overtake our joy and peace.
Philippians 4:8 reminds us to fill our minds with the things that are true, noble, reputable,
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.
The Message (MSG)
I am learning that when I focus on God’s word, tuning out the chatter of the world, my heart is filled. Peace floods my mind, a stillness moves over me, and I am encouraged.
BeLOVED, we are living in a time where chaos reigns, uncertainty is offered at every turn, and a culture of fear and hate is becoming deeply embedded in our world. I encourage you to be careful about what you are planting in your mind and heart. Be watchful, determined, and alert to those words and thoughts that are noxious weeds to your soul. Cling to what is authentic, compelling, and gracious – focus on the things God uses to cultivate and grow us.