Content & Images © 2008-2014 - Rachel Miller, Ink Road Originals LLC, All Rights Reserved

Monday, March 5, 2012

Choked by the Weeds

I hate to admit it online, but in the spirit of writing toward the interests and needs of real people, I'll admit that I have a problem lately of over-multi-tasking.  With all of the projects I've started, it is sometimes amazing that I'm able to finish them well, or at all.  Since at this moment I can't really stop any of them altogether, I've been looking for ways to make the less-important tasks drop into the background while I try to develop and improve my lifelong goals.  I think it's important, even for the sake of my spiritual development.

I bring this up here because I've noticed that when I'm constantly switching between tasks, I tend to spend less time with God and His Word.  This results in more anxiety and stress, and a loss of peace.  How about you? Is life beginning to keep you from the spiritual growth of your dreams?

In Jesus' explanation of the Parable of the Sower, I see a warning when Jesus said, "The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful" (Matthew 13: 22 NIV). I don't want to be unfruitful! I don't want to waste my energy worrying, since that usually comes to nothing. I certainly don't want to make money (or any other kind of advancement, for that matter) into some kind of god that I serve at the loss of everything.  Nothing on my super-long to-do list could possibly be this important.

Studying this plant symbolism further, I see that the key to overcoming the choking weeds is to focus on God, not on peripheral things. Just like the seedlings growing among the thorns, we have to look up (keep our eyes on God) instead of looking to either side (at our scary-looking neighbors).  Plants that focus on the sun will eventually rise above the weeds, through growth.  Similarly, if we stay in constant contact with the Lord, He will make us grow spiritually, until we can look down at our worries and say, "My God is bigger than you!"

So, today, I'm going to take a few minutes to read the Bible in the middle of the day, when nothing is quite done and it's kind of inconvenient.  I'm going to close my eyes and pray during one of those moments when it looks like the whole world is going to fall apart if I don't keep both eyes riveted on the problem at hand.  If I really believe that God is in control and that He will take care of me, I need to act like it.  That means catching myself when I'm trying to hold up the weight of the world on my own, and just believe that God is going to take care of me, even when I'm not "on duty" or "totally with it" today.

God is not going to let His own interests in me get choked out by the weeds. He put too much work into my salvation already when He sent His son, Jesus, to die for me.  If He's not afraid of these things, why should I be? If He has overcome every trouble in this life, I know I can do the same, by His strength.

I'm reminded of a memory verse from children's church when I was small. It's good to return to what I knew first, so I'm sharing it here:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3: 5, 6 NIV)