8/22/2013

Rattlesnake Weed

There's a common ground cover weed we have in the yard called Rattlesnake-Weed. It's a small-leaved plant that hugs the ground and forms a green mat across the dirt or stones. Tiny white flowers cover the top and does its best to look like a cultivated ground cover. While green is an extremely desirable color in the high desert, this is as its name implies--a weed. Other properties of the plant include a sticky white substance that oozes from the stems when they're broken-something like milkweed juice, it's also tough against Round-Up, and hard to pull out of the ground. It's pretty determined to survive and Rattlesnake-Weed is designed for survival.

The tough little plant reminds me of bad habits (habitual sins) we accumulate. Habits are good or bad. They become ingrained in everyday activities and are barely noticed sometimes. Some are related to personal hygiene like brushing your teeth everyday is a good habit. Taking out the trash is also a good habit. Regular church attendance is a good habit. Habits cling tightly to our behavior and tend to grow over time. We all know that diets are not habits, they're merely temporary changes in our eating behavior. A lifestyle change in eating becomes significant over time as we make good choices about what we're putting in our mouths. Not only will our outside change for the better, but so does the inside--cholesterol levels, blood pressure, etc.

Bad habits are the same way. We get angry over the same things time after time. We blame others or say "that's just the way I am." All of this reasoning is like the little Rattlesnake-Weed that creeps over the stones to eventually choke out other plants. It's sticky stem juice makes it icky to pull with bare hands, but gloves don't work on the tiny stems. It braves the herbicide, drought, and heat. So why bother to pull it at all? Just let it grow. It has flowers after all.

Habits, good or bad take time to form. Many experts say 21-28 days are needed to form a new habit. My opinion? Some may take a lot longer, especially if they're good habits. Persistence and commitment are always required in the formation of good habits. Daily decisions are necessary to stay on track.

Rattlesnake-Weed
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. Hebrews 12:1-4 NIV

As the writer of Hebrew points out, we're in a struggle against sin. It's a difficult battle and we're prone to give up. What habitual sins do you need to get rid of in your life? Rattlesnake-Weed must be plucked from my flower gardens. It's presence isn't welcome. Persistence and sticky fingers will win that battle. Persistence and keeping our eyes on Jesus will help us win against the sins that entangle us time after time. He's shown us the way.

1 comment:

Margaret Welwood said...

Thank you. This is encouraging.

Positively encouraging

8/22/2013

Rattlesnake Weed

There's a common ground cover weed we have in the yard called Rattlesnake-Weed. It's a small-leaved plant that hugs the ground and forms a green mat across the dirt or stones. Tiny white flowers cover the top and does its best to look like a cultivated ground cover. While green is an extremely desirable color in the high desert, this is as its name implies--a weed. Other properties of the plant include a sticky white substance that oozes from the stems when they're broken-something like milkweed juice, it's also tough against Round-Up, and hard to pull out of the ground. It's pretty determined to survive and Rattlesnake-Weed is designed for survival.

The tough little plant reminds me of bad habits (habitual sins) we accumulate. Habits are good or bad. They become ingrained in everyday activities and are barely noticed sometimes. Some are related to personal hygiene like brushing your teeth everyday is a good habit. Taking out the trash is also a good habit. Regular church attendance is a good habit. Habits cling tightly to our behavior and tend to grow over time. We all know that diets are not habits, they're merely temporary changes in our eating behavior. A lifestyle change in eating becomes significant over time as we make good choices about what we're putting in our mouths. Not only will our outside change for the better, but so does the inside--cholesterol levels, blood pressure, etc.

Bad habits are the same way. We get angry over the same things time after time. We blame others or say "that's just the way I am." All of this reasoning is like the little Rattlesnake-Weed that creeps over the stones to eventually choke out other plants. It's sticky stem juice makes it icky to pull with bare hands, but gloves don't work on the tiny stems. It braves the herbicide, drought, and heat. So why bother to pull it at all? Just let it grow. It has flowers after all.

Habits, good or bad take time to form. Many experts say 21-28 days are needed to form a new habit. My opinion? Some may take a lot longer, especially if they're good habits. Persistence and commitment are always required in the formation of good habits. Daily decisions are necessary to stay on track.

Rattlesnake-Weed
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. Hebrews 12:1-4 NIV

As the writer of Hebrew points out, we're in a struggle against sin. It's a difficult battle and we're prone to give up. What habitual sins do you need to get rid of in your life? Rattlesnake-Weed must be plucked from my flower gardens. It's presence isn't welcome. Persistence and sticky fingers will win that battle. Persistence and keeping our eyes on Jesus will help us win against the sins that entangle us time after time. He's shown us the way.

1 comment:

Margaret Welwood said...

Thank you. This is encouraging.