“A man’s children and his garden both reflect the amount of weeding done during the growing season” Author Unknown
This past weekend I worked outside in the yard pulling weeds. A friend had commented how sad my flower bed looked and I finally felt convicted on doing something about it. So while my husband took his Sunday afternoon nap, I went out into the yard to pull weeds in the beautiful summer sunshine.
Have you ever noticed how weeds seem to come up in the most frustrating places, usually the areas that require the most work to get rid of; involving bending, kneeling, contorting, pulling, digging, and yanking? Have you also noticed that not only do they grow in those areas where you don’t want them, but they also seem to be able to grow in those areas where nothing else can?
While kneeling and pulling out weeds from our rock side yard, I recalled the Parable of the Sower in the Bible (Luke 8:4-15). I then found myself lamenting to God about how I thought He said that seeds aren’t supposed to grow in rocky soil. Suddenly I remembered (or was reminded) that it was not good seed growing amongst my rocks, but weeds. I then realized that there was another side to that biblical story: weeds can always take root where good seed cannot.
Weeds seem to just appear out of nowhere, and if we do not tend our garden regularly, they can grow fast, tall and strong, requiring more work to get rid of (feel free to look at the side of my garage for a visual aid). Likewise, we have not been tending the garden that is our country for quite some time. Those weeds I like to call our “political aristocrats” are now so entrenched, deep rooted and overgrown that they have overwhelmed any good seed and choked off the public trust. It is time for us to do some extreme maintenance, and unfortunately we are at the where the work that needs to be done is the kind that will make us sore in the morning.
The only way to have a beautiful garden is to keep working at it, weeding, pruning, planting and removing the dead wood. We have to get back to digging our hands in the dirt, instead of sticking our heads in it. For too long we have taken the easy route of voting for the candidate of a party, instead of doing the real work of voting for the candidate of character. This needs to change, and quickly, before our beautiful American garden is lost. We first must examine the content of the character of those who seek office, regardless of party affiliation. Are they honorable, honest and trustworthy? Are they good stewards at home, with both their family and their finances? If not, then what makes us think that they will value the voters trust or the public’s purse? Do their words line up with their actions? If not, then why should we believe what they say? Do they associate with people of bad character? If so, then we should wonder about the strength of their character. As my parents used to tell me growing up, “your friends today will be who you are tomorrow. Bad company will always corrupt good character”.
That being said, by the time you are reading this, the primaries will have been held for both major political parties here in Iowa. I hope you participated, because the primaries are where we make the decision on how tightly we will have to hold our nose at the next general election. My fellow Americans, aren’t you tired of having to choose between the lesser of two evils? Wouldn’t you rather struggle over choosing between the greater of two goods? If so, then it is time to get our hands dirty. Our garden is overgrown, and we need yank out those weeds now so we can sow some good seed in our fine Iowa soil.
Here’s to a fruitful harvest on November 2nd!
“Our people are slow to learn the wisdom of sending character instead of talent to Congress. Again and again they have sent a man of great acuteness, a fine scholar, a fine forensic orator, and some master of the brawls has crunched him up in his hands like a bit of paper.” Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), American writer, poet and philosopher