As professionals, we often talk – negatively or derogatorily – about “being in the weeds.” What we mean when we say that is that we’re so far into the details that we can’t really see the big picture … that we’re letting our work control us, rather than controlling our work. And that we may be making bad decisions because we’ve lost our sense of direction. I was struck this morning by Jesus description of the weeds as articulated in Luke 8:
“A farmer went out to sow his seed. Some of it fell on the road; it was tramped down and the birds ate it. Other seed fell in the gravel; it sprouted, but withered because it didn’t have good roots. Other seed fell in the weeds; the weeds grew with it and strangled it. Other seed fell in rich earth and produced a bumper crop … This story is about some of those people. The seed is the Word of God. The seeds on the road are those who hear the Word, but no sooner do they hear it than the Devil snatches it from them so they won’t believe and be saved. The seeds in the gravel are those who hear with enthusiasm, but the enthusiasm doesn’t go very deep. It’s only another fad, and the moment there’s trouble it’s gone. And the seed that fell in the weeds—well, these are the ones who hear, but then the seed is crowded out and nothing comes of it as they go about their lives worrying about tomorrow, making money, and having fun. But the seed in the good earth—these are the good-hearts who seize the Word and hold on no matter what, sticking with it until there’s a harvest. — Luke 8:5-8, 11-15
Jesus has just placed everyone who’s ever heard God’s word – which certainly describes nearly everyone in this country – into four categories. They’re all worth exploring, because we see examples of all of them every day. But it was the weeds that struck me – because they’re what I see most often in my own life. Although I love Jesus and spend time in the word (almost) every day, it’s incredibly easy for me to get bogged down in work, family, putting my own happiness first and – well – just life. None of those pursuits are bad; in fact, they can all be considered Godly pursuits. But when they choke out the single-minded purpose of serving God and others, they can be deadly. My prayer today is to stay out of the weeds – the kind that deter me from honoring God with everything I do.
Wheat and Weeds image courtesy of New Covenant Baptist Church’s Daily Discipleship Blog