Big mistake. Big, big mistake. At least when it comes to the world of gardening. I remembered looking through the seed catalog several years ago. It is always one of my favorite winter activities –poring over the colorful garden catalogs. That particular year I made the fateful choice to buy a packet of seeds labeled “Grandpa Otto’s Morning Glory”. Oh, if only I would have known. If I had had even an inkling of what was to come, I would never have bought that seed packet.
This past Saturday night, I spent the evening, yet again, ripping out morning glory plants that had grown up all through my square foot garden boxes. What has made this summer so much more frustrating is that this spring we had built new boxes. We had laid down a weed barrier and then had dumped layers of fresh, virgin, seedless soil in them. There shouldn’t have been a morning glory seed anywhere around my boxes.
When I saw the first heart-shaped leaf early this summer my heart sank. No! You have to be kidding me. That stupid, invasive, beautiful plant was back. As I became busier in the month of July and didn’t have as much time to keep after the garden, the morning glories saw their chance and grew with a vengeance until they had climbed up through the sweet peas and raspberries. Their tendrils wrapping around and choking my peppers and my strawberries. What had started out as an innocent act of planting a tiny packet of seeds years earlier had turned into a gardening nightmare that would never go away.
Of course, many of you have probably already guessed where I am going with this. You see, sin is so much like that packet of seeds. It looks so beautiful, so small. It looks way too innocent to ever cause much grief. But the seed of a little sin, just like those annoying morning glories, grows and grows and then blossoms and eventually it sets fruit. And then the seeds start spilling out from the fruit and we find the sin multiplying on every side of us.
Some people just give up and let the sin continue to grow and multiply. They decide to just try to survive the jungle growing around them the best they can.
But, as Christians, we don’t have this option, do we? And, so we are called to be very careful about what seeds we plant. Are we planting good seeds or bad seeds? Galatians 6:7 tells us: Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. We fool ourselves if we think we can plant just a bit of evil in our lives.
Of course, most of us make the mistake of planting the wrong packet of seeds a time or two. I can look back in my life and see many times where I planted the wrong thing and I am still paying for that today. It is frustrating and discouraging to see the wrong fruit growing in the garden of our life. Especially when it seems to be over-taking the good fruit.
And, so, as Christians, we become the Constant Gardener. We have the responsibility to constantly be searching and pulling the sin and the fruits of that sin from our lives and nurturing and growing the fruits of the Spirit. But, by doing so, we experience the immense joy of living a life that is hopeful and fruitful, instead of muddling through the jungle.
I guess we should all spend a little time gardening today!