Saturday, May 12, 2007


My once proud backyard is in a bit of a shambles. What once was lush green grass and shrubs is now a collection of ground ivy patches, holes dug by the infernal dog, dead spots in grass courtesy of same dog, a path worn through the grass by dog, and bushes that need trimming. And it all seemed to happen so fast.

I think it started a couple summers ago when I was busy with stuff and was painting the house. That consumed most weekends and I just sort of let it go. Then last year came, school interfered with life and the puppy was here. Now, it's a mess and I may wind up nuking large portions of the grass and starting over. I once sprayed most of the yard with Roundup and took a weed torch to anything that survived the Roundup. I had a great lawn after that.

As I was mowing (baling) the back today, I was also thinking about a paper I am writing. It is a "Rule of Life" for my Vocation of Ministry class. Basically it is a set of governing principles for my life. More on that another day.

But one area of emphasis is ongoing spiritual formation. And spiritual neglect can make a mess out of a person in the same way that my neglect of the yard made a mess out of it. It can be as benign as doing good things (painting the house) at the expense of other things. Or it can be as ugly as sloth (choosing to play rather than work in the yard), but either way the result is the same. What was once a beautiful garden is now overgrown with weeds and thorns and requires radical action to fix.

Don't let your life be like my lawn. Do your daily maintenance by praying, reading scripture, visiting the sick, comforting the mourning, and working to right injustices. It will keep the weeds out.

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