By Greg Schmidt, hospice chaplain
It’s just more than 30 days until it’s time to re-seed my yard. For the past 3 years, the beginning of September is the time chosen to re-seed my yard, hoping to add to the vitality and strength of my grass. Every teeny, tiny space occupied by a great blade of growing, thriving grass is one less itty, bitty space for a weed. I’ve never had a 100% weed free lawn, but that doesn’t keep me from planning for one.
You did notice I said, “For the past 3 years …”, right? I haven’t always had this passion for a weed-free plot of greenery. Oh, I’ve always wanted to have a good yard, but I never put in the time or effort I do now. Just didn’t have the vision, I guess. Allowing a few weeds to grow (or flourish) just didn’t bother me all that much. After all, every other yard in the neighborhood has weeds.
My next door neighbors to the south are kind, gentle people who always mind their own business. But I’m not sure there is any real grass growing in his yard. No Bermuda, Zoysia, or Tall Fescue in sight. He does have an amazing collection of virtually every weed grown in Kansas though. (My mother always said we should find two positive things to say before saying something negative.) And given that the wind most often blows from the south in the summer, wanna offer any guesses as to what I “inherit” from their yard?
For many reasons – of which re-seeding my yard is just one – the things we experience in life often serve as “word pictures” for our spiritual life. Both the good and the not so great. In our personal/spiritual lives, if we allow “weeds” to grow – by design or neglect – they occupy the space where growing, thriving truths would otherwise take root. God has never asked any of us to be perfect. (Thank you, Lord.) But He has asked us to make plans to follow the One who did manage to live perfectly.
Jesus had a vision for living a weed-free life, so to speak. He planned the work, and worked the plan. He wasn’t concerned with what felt or appeared real. He knew the truth and the Truth. He wasn’t concerned with the neighbor’s attitudes, accomplishments or intentions. However, He did understand that how He chose to pursue His style of life would dramatically affect those watching (and following) Him. And, He had a single-minded devotion to following the will and way of the Heavenly Father. No deviations. No inventing or re-inventing what was asked of Him, regardless of where the winds came from or where they were blowing.
Apply that to your life. For me, it means being a Hospice Chaplain the way I believe/know God wants me to pursue giving away the life that’s been given to me. I’ve been blessed. Therefore, I must bless. I’ve been challenged and changed, therefore I must search for insights and opportunities that allow others to experience in their lives all that God wants to give to them if they are willing to listen, learn, and apply. The list goes on and on for me.
One of my former Heart & Soul Hospice patients, Mr. B, several days prior to his eternal home-going, said, “O Lord, have mercy on me.” I can’t even tell you how many times every day I pray that prayer out loud, or in my heart. It’s my “re-seeding” prayer. It’s an attempt to get rid of the teeny, tiny spaces that will otherwise make way for things I don’t want or need in my life. I want – no, I need – God’s mercy every moment of every day so I can grow and thrive where I’m planted. Maybe you do to. If that’s your case too, try and develop a re-seeding plan soon.