The sun was shining brightly as I emerged from the front door and skipped down the steps like a giddy schoolgirl. Nothing was going to dampen my mood today, not even the sable crow who was ominously staring at me like something out of an Edgar Allan Poe story. Raven wannabe, I scoffed. I should have known better. Crows will not be mocked, especially large ones who look like an Easter Island head.
In the midst of my crow reverie, a vine clutched my ankle, and I plummeted into a deep, vast jungle. The sun was darkened by the imposing forest, and I was now lying in a dark and scary undergrowth. “Caw! Caw!,” I heard in the distance. I shivered, half expecting a crow attack ugly enough to be featured on Animal Kingdom. As I tried to get my bearings, I could barely find my way through the tall grass and strange plants. That’s when I realized…
Time to weed the front walk.
Weeding is an annual task that I look forward to almost as much as getting a root canal. I have heard that there are people who actually enjoy doing it, and if they had magically appeared, I would have gladly hired them. Since no one else was available that day, I had to enlist my three kids.
We began to attack those weeds with the vim and vigor of a newborn puppy on a chew toy. The kids were excited at first, the poor innocents. They were eager to use real tools, although I was slightly nervous at the thought of arming my boys with weapons such as the garden claw.
After a couple of hours of hard work, we were filthy and sore, so naturally we assumed that we had done a great job. When we stood up and surveyed the area, everyone was amazed at how little we had actually accomplished. Only a small fraction of the path was done, and the kids were heartbroken. The deceitfulness of weeds had choked their enthusiasm.
It’s no wonder Jesus used a Parable of the Weeds to describe the harvesting of good and evil.
The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil.
Jesus had to spell everything out clearly for his disciples, and let’s face it, for us too. He would have loved Power Point and any other tool which drills through a dull cranium. I can just imagine part of his diagram:
WEEDS = EVIL
To my surprise, the kids kept working on our path for several days until it was done. They were determined to get every last weed, and spent many anxious moments watching for new ones to appear.
Even though the weeding was grueling, we learned some valuable lessons. First, you have to pull evil out by the roots or it will come back to haunt you. Also, sometimes weeds grow flowers, making their appearance deceitful. And finally, the best way to treat a rocky path full of weeds would be to pave it over completely. We’ll leave this last one up to Jesus, when he returns with his giant paver. Until then, there are weeds among us, trying to drag us down with their twisted tendrils. One can only hope that we attack them with the enthusiasm and determination of a child.