Spring has sprung. The vast brownness of winter has given way to spring green. I have heard this season described as “If it’s green, it must be a weed.” It’s as if in its excitement to respond to warmer temperature and summer rains, everything comes charging out of the ground. On closer examination, what really looks good is mostly just weeds.
My front ditch looks like a rain forest. Our flower beds are covered in weeds. Even the lawn, to the extent it’s green, on closer examination, it isn’t so much grass as it is a variety of weeds. You want to charge in with a weed eater and herbicide, but care is needed because the first shoots of the “good” plants are buried in with the weeds. Some of my worst spring disasters have occurred when in my weed killing frenzy I have destroyed some of my wife’s favorite plants.
The great thing about spring is newness. There is new life coming out all over. We seem to love newness. Like the spring growth, life produces new things which aren’t all great. There are more new weeds in our lives than anything else.
We are suckers for the new, new clothes, new friends, new cars. We even like the “new” in the spiritual: new churches, new teachers, new ideas, new theology. The truth is there isn’t really much new that’s better than the truth recorded centuries ago in the scriptures. New ideas tend to be more things we hope are true and not things that are truly true. We want “truths” that will allow us an easier path. We want to be able to hold on to more of our life. We want new life without anything dying. We want to hear much about forgiveness and little about repentance. We want to hear about empty graves and not carrying crosses. We want to bring a message that the world is eager to hear and not one that it needs to hear.
Spring brings a need for cleaning, not just our messy houses and our weed choked gardens. We need to go through our lives, our belief systems, our value systems. We need to weed out that which is not true and embrace, water and encourage the really valuable true plants that bring not just life, but life worth living.