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By Jesse Utz 

Lessons from the weed patch

Jess Shut Up


Sometimes you never know when a revelation of life will hit you. The past few weeks I have been in a few different weed patches, from Belvedere to Electric City and many in between. A few kids (Mason, Marisha, Ronan, Cole and Kaden) along with Karrie and I have been providing a service to those in need. We have dug trenches, put in fence posts, bucked bales, painted a garage, and stained a deck, but yard work seems to have become our specialty. Weeds have become our Achilles’ heel. The kids now loathe weeds more than ever. But you can learn a lot in a weed patch.

There are many different kinds of weeds. There are the easy-pulling kind - not very deep roots, kind of small, and they seem to be spread out. Then there are the giant sycamore weeds with huge, multiple, big roots that take over in huge areas. They can be overwhelming. Then there are the medium sized, but they can surprise you: lots of stems and one big, giant root that takes a lot of energy to dislodge, and sometimes you land on your rear end when they pop out. One other kind is the flat-on-the-ground weed that stretches out silently and spreads out and multiplies: easy pulling, but there are lots of them and they take over. OK, enough. Of course, we all know about the weeds out there.

Well, I got to thinking. No smoke and dangerous, I know. Nonetheless, I did think while watching these young people sweat and get frustrated at these growing energy suckers. Our lives can be full of weeds. Problems, issues, finances, relationships and bad habits can all be like weeds in our very own garden of life. We, too, must be vigilant to weed our lives out of these things that hold us back and cause our lives not to produce the fruit we need to survive this nasty world.

We have those weeds that are smaller and don’t seem like much at the time. A lie here or a lie there and a few innocent weeds pop up, and if we don’t take care of them, or we get comfortable with them being there, we can become overwhelmed over time. Then there are those big things. The big weeds that can take over the whole garden and seem to actually become the garden of weeds. Addictions, poor lifestyle choices, a lack of the Word, and poorly managed finances become huge issues with large roots that can devastate our lives. There are all kinds of problems that can correlate to weeds in our lives. These weeds don’t only affect us; they can burden our families and our neighbors, too. They become contagious and spread to their gardens of life, too.

So what do we do? Take action early, as soon as you notice them. Some spray early in the year and kill them dead. Yes, as soon as you notice a problem in your garden, you take steps to remove it and it becomes much easier to pull once it is a dead issue. If you miss them at first appearance, then you are destined to be on your hands and knees trying to catch up before your garden is overrun. Unfortunately, some of us will wake up one morning and look out at the garden, notice it is overrun, but think it is too late and too hot to go out now and take care of it. We cannot ignore our problems forever. That is part of what is wrong with our world today.

We must weed our lives. Get the junk out and take care of our gardens. Yes, sometimes the burden is just too much and we must lower our pride meter a bit and ask for help. You see, these problems in our lives are very much like the weeds growing outside our windows right now. They are noxious and choke out the good things in our lives. They overwhelm us and cause us to give up hope of anything good ever growing again. We sometimes even pretend we don’t see the weeds and we ignore them until our neighbors and friends are pounding on our doors, trying to see if we need help. We must not give up. One weed at a time. Day by day. First one weed, then another.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are plenty of people out there willing to lend a hand. That being said, if someone does ask for help, we must not turn our noses up at their weeds. If we help our neighbor in their time of need and everyone else does the same, then the weeds will slowly disappear.

A weedless life is one I would not mind having, and I know five kids who don’t want to ever see a weed again. At least for this summer. Weeds and the issues that burden our lives are both things that are easily managed in the early stages. If you wait, then an overwhelming feeling of helplessness will choke you out. So spray early and protect your good fruit in life.

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