Monday, May 16, 2011

Weeding: Lesson of the Mustard Weeds

My kids and I have really enjoyed "Hind's Feet on High Places" for years. Often on a bad day we would write out (or draw) our actions or feelings, talk about it, pray about it, then make an altar and burn it up.
The idea of seeds being planted in your heart was another word picture we adopted from there.

Today we did some reinforcing that idea with some real (big!) mustard weeds.
When there are relationship issues in our home, we will sit and work through it until we get "to the root" of the problem. We talk about whatever the issue was being like a seed that gets planted. When we "let the sun go down" on our anger (or other issue) we give that seed a chance to germinate and take root. If we handle it soon after it happens it is easier to get rid of, but the longer it is there, even if it goes unnoticed, the harder it is to uproot!
Outside we found little weeds and much bigger weeds. I made each child with me pull a small mustard weed. They had to get the root out too, so they wound up pulling a few.
We took note that the weeds in softer ground came out easier than those in the hard packed dirt.
Then we went to the mustard giants we have growing in another area. They are roughly 3 feet tall, and about 3/4 inch in diameter. These are very hard to uproot! Most will leave quite a bit of root behind when they do finally come out, but our purpose is to get all of the root out.

Then we went in, as it was cold, and talked about it.
Which were the harder to pull?
The bigger ones were harder over all, but the small ones in tough ground also didn't move easily. I told them, "When we have issues between us and someone else, the weed that is planted will grow bigger the longer it is there. The bigger weeds are harder to pull out, right? So we need to get to those weeds while they are small. Just like the hard ground was harder to weed, and the soft ground easier; hard hearts will be harder to remove the root from. We need to try to have soft, teachable hearts toward each other."

But there is more we plant. You reap what you sow.
Galatians 6 "A man reaps what he sows. 8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit,
from the Spirit will reap eternal life."

Hosea 10 "12 Sow for yourselves righteousness,
reap the fruit of unfailing love,
and break up your unplowed ground;
for it is time to seek the LORD,
until he comes
and showers righteousness on you.
13 But you have planted wickedness,
you have reaped evil,
you have eaten the fruit of deception."
We talked of desiring to grow in certain behaviors. Since we have been gardening the kids get the idea of nurturing a plant. Knowing that it is easier to grow weeds, we talked about what we have been doing to grow plants we want to enjoy. So too if we desire the fruits of good actions and thoughts, we must be sowing them, nurturing them and keeping the weeds out!
I told them that we can actually nurture the weeds, the bad attitudes or behaviors. We can choose them, or ignore them and they will grow in us until they are difficult to rid ourselves of them. Pull them while they are small and it is easy, before they choke out the good we want to grow!
And now, I'm off to help 2 little people who have some weeding to do...


traceylynndel said...

great visual example.

Monica said...

Thanks Tracey :)
They really seem to have gotten this one! As we "weeded out the issue" before bed time, I brought back up that we were weeding while it was still small and easy to pull out, and child in question remarked about the pulling weeds earlier! :) Concrete helps the abstract make sense I guess :)