Bugs and Weeds

gardenerBugs and Weeds

It’s a nice idea.   Going out to the garden and just pulling off the vine or out of the ground fresh, healthy, wholesome food.
I wish it were that easy!  Bugs know how to hide.  Those clever little squash bugs, flea beetles and grass hoppers know how to hide and avoid you like the plague.  How can it be that a creature smaller than a bread crumb can confound our best efforts to feast on the summer’s produce?
And then there are weeds! Even as my first grape vine emerged from near extinction, only a foot or so away another vine emerged looking exactly like my grape.  Which one was my grape and which was an impostor?  Was it an impostor at all?  I honestly could not tell the difference.  Sometimes I think bugs and weeds are smarter than we are!
Losing weight, finishing school, getting that degree, finding a job, finding reconciliation in a failing marriage, reaching a rebellious son or daughter.  It seems life is filled with bugs and weeds that threaten to steal from us our dream of a summer harvest.  We can be tempted to just give up and let the bugs and weeds win.
In our ‘war’ on weeds and bugs here is what we have learned:
1. There will always be problems, bugs and weeds.
2. Reality is not as easy as it seemed when you were dreaming about it.
3. If you want to eat, prepare for the work to be harder and longer than you thought.
4. A garden requires constant vigilance.  You can’t rest until the harvest is in.
5.  It’s easier to go to the grocery store but not nearly as satisfying.
6. If gardening were easy, everyone would do it.
7.  If you quit, ‘fess up that you never wanted it bad enough to begin with.  Admit you didn’t have what it takes and don’t blame the bugs and weeds in your life.  Recalculate your goals, aim elsewhere or look within and find something more.

Nothing worth having is easy.  Choose what you are going to give your life to carefully and then be prepared to spend more than you dreamed and work longer than you thought to reach it.  If it is worthy of your best effort and good for you, then God will help you, in the end, to eat the good fruit of a life well lived.

Life in the Slower Lane




40 years of cell phones.  Last week the cell phone celbrated its 40th birthday.  That first phone was 10 inches long and weighed 2 1/2 pounds!  How far they have come since that time. Today with over 6 billion people having cell phones it is difficult to imagine living without one available.
     We feel ‘naked’ walking out the door without it.  We text, face-book, twitter, read books, keep organized and keep our calendars. If our car sputters or we are late, we call or text. We send email, watch our favorite episodes, check the weather, news and even talk with someone! 
   Talking is central to any relationship. “Enoch enjoyed a close relationship with God throughout his life.  Then suddenly, he disappeared because God took him.” (Genesis 5:24)  With all our dependence upon two way communication the wonder of talking with God becomes lost, replaced by the wonder of modern smart phones.
     The batteries run down, they get dropped, wet, lost, stolen, misplaced, or outdated. Besides all that they are expensive!
    It is still true that the best things in life are free.  Free!
     We recently asked people to sign up for 30 minute slots from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm for prayer in our sanctuary.   We left a book for people to record their ‘texts’ to God (prayers in old tehnological terminology). Reading these prayers which were meant to be shared, I found them filled with wonder, praise, and joy and trust.
    When did we last feel lost in wonder or joy as we spent time with our phone?  When did our phone promise us a full, rich life?  When did our phone leave us with a peace that transcended all our circumstances?
    I have a cell phone.  Like you I feel ‘naked’ when I leave it behind.  I am writing this article with it now.
    But I also put it aside, turn it off or put it on ‘stun’.   I choose not to answer it when I am talking with someone or with Someone.  I choose to not look at email or texts when I am spending time off.  If we don’t choose sometimes to be un-wired, or unplugged from from our fast lane world we will miss something – Someone greater.