I watched them, the yard crew working outside my window. Some donned in straw hats that shaded their weather-worn, dark-skinned faces, some with orange safety ear-muffs strapped across their closely-cropped hair. In spite of the near 100-degree sun beating down on them, all were covered head to toe in protective clothing.
These, my heroes of the day. Men sent to slay the vines and weeds threatening consumption of our back yard. With Nascar-revving power at the squeeze of a trigger, these men were a solid team committed to the task.
Hope bloomed fresh each time a patch of land peeked through the tangled mess, but soon obnoxious vines and waist-high weeds wound their way into the weed-eater’s motor, forcing the worker to stop.
With each step, the challenge grew. The chopped weeds from the cleared territory overflowed into the next unconquered stretch. The tangled weeds continued to choke the motor. Start. Stop. Start. Stop.
I held my breath. Would they give up? This was important, you know. This need for cleared space.
But the worker, undeterred, shut down the motor and shoved the vine cuttings aside. He was on a mission. And no matter how many times he had to stop to overcome the vines, he always returned to the task at hand.
Isn’t that what God wants us to do? Stay focused no matter the distractions.
Enthusiastic weed-warriors, we have no problem committing to the task as we all long to eliminate the unnecessary growth blocking the beauty of our lives. We’re great at talking about what we’re going to do—even shout it out to our Facebook and Twitter friends. Sometimes we even do the necessary preparations; we buy the conference ticket, research and buy supporting books, download podcasts, and seek prayer covering.
Then, we actually step into the weeds. Determined to overcome, claim new territory. Our zeal carries us through these initial steps. But then the weeds start to choke us. This is actually much harder than I imagined. Start. Stop. Start. Stop. It sure is hot out here.
Our enthusiasm wanes. Why was this so important?
How bad do we want this? Imagine with me for a moment what it would feel like if we cut through the hard patches, once and for all. Can’t you just smell the linen-fresh sky? Feel the freedom of the cleared territory? Taste the joy in the air?
That’s God’s plan for us. He lays this out in Gal 5:22-23: “But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely (MSG).”
It’s simple really. We cannot travel the intended path as long as distractions block our destiny.
Precious Father, transform us. Root out any hurtful, harmful, and negative emotions that have been cultivated in our lives. Replace these things with your truth, your Spirit, your healing.
P.S. We’d love to know your thoughts; be sure to comment below. Each of our commenters will be entered in a drawing for this month’s FREE book giveaway, Mothers & Daughters: Mending a Strained Relationship by author Teena Stewart.
Jo Ann Fore is an author, teacher, book-freak, and fun friend. She is passionate about making a difference in the lives of women. Most noted for her authentic vulnerability, Jo Ann captivates her audience with faith-filled messages caramelized with a powerful promise of hope. She is the founder of the Write Where It Hurts community, where she is honored to spend her days in the midst of women who seek hard after God’s plans for their lives.