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.
25 thoughts on “Living God’s Way”
Yes and yes. Meditating on perseverance today…let it have its full effect. So easy to get entangled in the vines, but what a great view when you push thru. Thanks for the reminder.
Yes and YES Marcia! “Let it have its full effect.”
Excellent post Jo Ann! Trust in the Lord and He will give us strength to cut away those weeds and vines! Blessings to you!
Thank you Janet! So glad God encouraged you — amazing how He does that, isn’t it? Something only He can do from the time it leaves our thoughts to the time it reaches another’s ears. Love that only He can do that.
Your so right Jo Ann staying focused is key. It’s hard easy to give up but at the end of the day, those who persevere will receive.
Ah yes, Rita — isn’t it awesome how we receive God’s best if we stay the course. Oh, that we would all persevere! And you, my friend, are an example of that very thing.
The longer we wait to keep up our yard the harder it is to maintain. It’s the same way when it comes to working on tasks God has assigned to us. The more you procrastinate, the harder it is for you to get started. I know all to well when it comes to writing papers in school, waiting until the last minute makes it harder to focus. A little bit at a time does it!
A little bit at a time, Althea. Great wisdom!
A timely message for me today. Thank you JoAnn. Thank you God.
Yay God! Thank you for dropping in; thank you for letting us know God is working. Praying this moment.
“How bad do we want this?” Oh, I so needed this today, dear Jo Ann. The vines and weeds threaten to consume my writing soul at times, but God brings weed-warriors like you into my life to help me clear the debris, to create the freeing writing space and fresh air I need to do what God has called me to do – to write. Loved this piece. Yes, how bad do I want it? Thank you!
What fun ! I love being a weed/-warrior. May God continue to clear the debris.sweet Beth!
Oh how much fun being a weed-warrior! You are a wonderful model of chasing hard after God’s plan for us. Breathe in the fresh air my friend…it is there. 🙂
Love this, Jo Ann! So many distractions block our way, but with God’s help and a focus on Him we can persevere!
Thank you precious friend !
You wrote this for me, didn’t you? You are a sneaky one. I love you, my friend. Thanks for the kick in the PJ’s. I’m off to meddle in the affairs of dragons, for I am crunchy and I’ve hidden all the ketchup.
For you and me both friend. You know I share out if right where I am myself 🙂
All timing is Gods timing. I am in a prayer group…and this morning I had to pray to remove all distractions to allow me to focus on what God was calling us to do as a group. God gave me the grace and removed all those “things to do today” from my mind so I could put my whole heart, mind and soul where it was to be. Not always easy. I have had friends comment they think I have ADD, I call it POOO…Priorities out of order. I am learning to seek the Great Physician for all these “issues” because if I went to the medical doctor and asked for a remedy for POOO they would think I was crazy and would give me something to really make me “crazy” LOL Have a wonderful day removing distractions, which then help us see some clarity.
Yes, LORD, remove all distractions. Amen Eva! That we would be able to continually put our whole neart mind and soul where He leads!
There are no amount of words I could use to say how much I adore this post. You are a beautiful soul, and speaking the truth just makes you shine that much more! Thank you for your bravery and gentle leading. <3
You, sweet friend, are a beautiful encourager. Thank you!
What a delightful surprise to find this blog. The weed analogy is just like something Jesus would say. I’ve cleared land myself. It feels so good to walk around on that ground gained by jungle warfare. Thank you for the reminder.
We’re so glad you found us Arlene! We hope you will just move in with us, or at least visit often. And be sure to join us in our online prayer room as well. http://writewhereithurts.org/prayer-requests/
No one knows annoying distractions quite like myself. It never made sense to me, until I was diagnosed as an adult with ADHD. Suddenly, the light bulb clicked on. Finally, I “got it!” How humbling and relieved to discover I am not lazy, stupid or incapable of succeeding. I’m just wired differently.
Through the years, I’ve come to peace with my ADHD. It’s been a blessing in disguise. God has shown me that nothing is too difficult for me when I lean on Him. Although I may be more distracted than the average individual, God has helped me to work through my challenges in determination to complete important tasks.
When I remove all of the chaos and clutter, it’s just me and the Lord. Everything comes into focus and His Spirit is my guiding light.
Just us and the Lord. Selah. Great reminder, Dana.