Pulling Weeds

pulling weeds

How would you feel if your dentist were distracted by texting and forgot to numb you before beginning the root canal? Or what if the guy you carpool with to work was distracted by the tailgating-driver behind and didn’t see the stop sign or the school bus up ahead?

Distractions can be painful and deadly. They are like weeds growing up all around us that choke the flowers, those things in our lives we’re supposed to be caring for, and they diminish our focus; sometimes to the point where we forget God.

Weeds like to stand big and tall, so we’ll take notice and believe they’re important.  But they’re not.  Not really.  (That text really can wait until you pull the car over.  And the unanswered phone call isn’t going to make your cell phone disintegrate.)

It’s easy to get caught up in all the things you need to get done, to drag your panic attacks along with you as you breathlessly rush out the door to the next thing on your to-do list or to pat yourself on the back because your calendar has no bare spots. But is all that hurrying and busyness a distraction in disguise?

What you believe you need to do may be the very things keeping you from what God wants you to do.  You need to yank that big weed if it’s choking out the new growth God is bringing into your life.

Need an example?

I have a ton of work to do around the house and even more weeds, the literal kind, than I can count; a whole field of them! I feel like they’ve been taunting me and beating up on my sad little tulips and poking fun at my purple phlox.  But then I had an opportunity this week to volunteer at a food pantry.  I could have thought, “I can’t go anywhere.  I’ve got all this work to do, all these weeds to pull,” but instead I turned away from those busy distractions and focused on what I believe God wanted me to.

And let me just tell you, I have never known such a deep blessing in my soul. I went to bed that night thinking, “Today was one of the best days of my life.”  That’s the kind of life God has for us when we fix our eyes on Him.

So what distractions are keeping you from God’s blessing? Look around.  Do you see any “weeds?”  Anything that “seems” important but really in the overall panoramic view of your life doesn’t amount to a pile of dirt?

Give those weeds a good pull, those that are keeping you from God and His purpose for your life, and you’ll be able to see what was quietly waiting underneath all that other stuff is so much better.

“And the seed [the Word of God] that fell in the weeds- well, these are the ones who hear, but then the seed is crowded out and nothing comes of it as they go about their lives worrying about tomorrow, making money, and having fun.” (Luke 8:14 The Message.)

Anxiety

car-warped

I’m a nervous wreck driving on the expressway. I’m just being honest.  There are a lot of people trying to drive at supersonic speed while under the influence of anger.  Combine that with texting while driving and cars swerving all over the place and I’m on the verge of a panic attack.  But the good news is God knows all about it and wants to help.

Can you relate?  Is there something that twists your stomach like a balloon in the hands of a clown at the circus?  Does it bring a sense of dread, terror, or absolute panic?  Well, my friend, God knows all about that too.

So what do you do about it? Maybe you just push through it and collapse after it’s over, or you just avoid it all together.  I recently met a woman who avoids driving on the expressway and will take only the back roads to get where she needs to go.  I don’t blame her.

What do I do about my expressway terrors? I ask God to help me drive.  It may sound ridiculous but I’m very serious.  And His help comes so fast even those IndyCar drivers can’t get ahead of Him.  Like yesterday on my trip to an unfamiliar part of town…

At the beginning of it all, two words:   Road construction.  I immediately called out to God.  I couldn’t tell if the ramp I needed was open, but the truck in front of me literally just stopped which gave me time to see it was open. Thank you, Lord! Merging was completely smooth during rush hour. YES!!  I was first at a red light which allowed me to peer down the street and see the building I was looking for. It’s like He stopped all the hurrying around me! As soon as I pulled into the parking lot, which was packed, another car started to back out directly in front of me.  I see it, God. Thank you!  And later when I returned to the car and had finished devouring a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with the heat cranked on my cold feet, I realized when I started to back up that God was giving this very same parking spot to a woman I’d noticed before when she first pulled in; she must have circled around for a spot.  Maybe she prayed too.

The important thing to see through all of this: God really does care!  He doesn’t want you to have ulcers and panic attacks.  He loves you more than you can even understand, and He wants you to talk to Him about things that upset or terrify you.  And seriously, it’s amazing when you do.  All of a sudden, what was once your worst nightmare becomes a moment to be in the very presence of God, a moment to watch Him work right before your eyes as He comes to your rescue.

 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7 NIV.)