Something Strange Is Growing

by Torrey H. Brinkley

Each spring season here in the Rocky Mountain West the snows melt, the rains come, and the sun shines longer each day. And a host of pretty green plants starts to pop up from the earth, after they have lain dormant for the entire winter season. Weeds that start growing are not a part of the mix that one welcomes cheerfully.

This year, as in the past 4-5 years, we have seen the early growth and proliferation of a troublesome weed in our flower garden and adjacent areas. Since it did not come from the nursery with a specific label identifying its family and species, we shall name it according to its characteristics. Let's call it: the carrot-root, grassy-shoot, long-stemmed dandelion-flowered, sometimes-spreading weed.

Curiously this weed has many similarities to sins in our life:

It starts out by looking very innocent, almost mimicking the green blades of emerging grass of the lawn. Sins may also begin innocently, looking like normal behavior.

It can grow up straight and tall, as if it were to later develop into a flower. Some of our damaging sins may, at first glance, appear to be strengths in our character.

This weed has a one-track, single-focus root, which grows downward just like a carrot, both in size & in shape. Our besetting sins likewise go down deep into our psyche, in order to develop into long-standing habits.

Some folk who like pretty yellow flowers might think this invasive weed is just as pretty as a garden flower. How many humans believe that vicious sins are actually attractive, fun parts of their lives?

This weed quickly sneaks into the seed-spreading mode, so that the blowing winds carry its fertile seed pods elsewhere in the yard or neighborhood. Our wickedness also can quickly turn on us, damaging our character, our reputation, our physical or mental health.

The nastier part of our carrot-root, grassy-shoot weed is when it decides to just lay flat on the ground, spread out a bunch of tentacles, and choke out all other potential garden or grassy plant life. How many smart, gifted, and even spiritual people have been tripped up by their besetting sin, which just gradually took over their thought life and personal lives, choking out all other good and positive actions and relationships?

Ridding our garden of this suffocating weed requires some digging tools, a good amount of back-breaking labor, and a tenacious, dedicated attack. Our deep, dark secret sins also like to hide in the inner recesses of our soul, and do not easily let go of the person who has submitted to their clutches. Dedication, resolve, and hard work is required.

 David, the king, wrote: "Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression" (Ps. 19:13). And wise old Solomon wrote: "He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy" (Prov. 28: 13).

Jesus' closest disciple, John, noted: "No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him"  (I John 3:6).

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