First, it is much, much easier to maintain something than to let it go completely to pot and then try to fix it all at once. I had let my garden go, and the weeds were numerous and large. If I had picked them while they were small, it would have been easier, and they wouldn’t have stolen so many nutrients, so much life, from the fruit I was trying so hard to grow. The more I let them take root, the more they entwine their roots around the roots of the fruit, the more difficult they are to remove without damaging those things that I am trying to save. Better yet, would that I had put something in place, some barrier, some protection, that prevented the weeds from germinating and taking root in the first place.
Second, at first glance, the weeds seemed insurmountable. There were too many, they were too firmly entrenched, I had let it go too long, I might as well just let them take over. A lie that could be so easily believed, so much easier to just give up, once I made the mistake of letting the weeds grow out of control. But something else became clear, once I did start pulling the weeds. Although they looked huge and scary, once I got up close, I realized that when I followed the weeds back, to ground level, what looked like many weeds was really just one, tied to one root. And when I pulled that root, and tossed the weed, a whole section of my garden was suddenly clear. I think some problems look huge from the outside, but they have a simple root. I think sometimes the sin looks so big and complicated, and people think they need therapy, or medication, or a divorce, or a miracle, to rid themselves of a problem that really has a simple root: pride, or anger, or lust. Because with weeds, you can’t tear away just the part you can see. You have to get the root, or it comes back.
Third, the plants that I let grow willy-nilly don’t do so well. Yes, they grow big, but they get diseased more easily because they are dragging on the ground, and the fruit they produce isn’t as large, plentiful, or tasty as it should be. But those plants that I prune, the ones I train up the trellis so they stay off the ground, the ones that I reduce the amount of foliage so the plant’s energy can go into fruit production instead of leaf production, those are the best plants that produce the best fruit, because they have been properly trained, properly pruned, and they direct their energy producing fruit instead of wasting their energy on things they don’t need.
Like I said, simple truths, but they spoke to me (or were spoken to me), and I enjoyed my time in the quietness of that morning, listening for a still, small voice to speak the truths of the ages. May God prune me as He sees fit, to produce the fruit He would like to share with His Church.