Weeds or Seeds: What are You Sowing

Excellence is not a singular act, but a habit. You are what you repeatedly do. ~ Shaquille ONeal

There’s a sweet pea growing along one of the walls on the property. It is covered with beautiful pink flowers most of the summer. I’m hopeful it will eventually cover the wall completely.  BUT, there’s another vine twining its way through the sweet pea. It has little purple flowers. The problem is the second vine is noxious and extremely persistent.  If I leave it, even though it’s pretty, it will eventually crowd out and kill the sweet pea that I want to nurture. 

Both of them started from seeds, small … almost unnoticeable.  Like the beginnings of a habit. But if the wrong one is allowed to grow, it becomes invasive and chokes out the good things that are growing in the garden. 

Just like those plants, there are things growing in us… good things like discipline, love, patience, peace, kindness.  Or there might be jealousy, greed, anger and unforgiveness. All of them start as seeds – small acts of compassion or selfishness. However, if we practice the thought or action, it becomes more deeply rooted within us. Like the parable of the mustard seed (Mark 4: 30-32), it can grow up to become “greater than all” the other actions or desires in our lives.

 Have you noticed that some of your attitudes are deeply ingrained? 

Do you often find yourself becoming angry or disgruntled? 

Is it easy to respond with love and patience even if you are not getting ‘your way’? 

What habits have you been practicing? 

I have a friend who gets irritated by people he perceives as “bad drivers”. He rails at them while he’s driving, then wonders why he is upset and angry so often. He has practiced that anger until it is now rooted in his personality. And it often sprouts when he does not want it to!

 All good gardeners know that pruning and weeding are necessary for a beautiful garden.  They must sow the right seeds, pull the weeds, and remove plants that are not an asset to the landscape. 

Admittedly, it can take some tenacity to uproot bad attitudes and behaviors. Recently, we had several trees that needed to be removed. Cutting them down was the easy part; pulling out the roots was a major project! But, they needed to go. Otherwise, we would have a bunch of suckers to deal with – offshoots from that root, growing where we didn’t want them. 

It’s important to recognize what ‘cuttings’ you want to share. Remember that what you sow is what you will reap. Do not give away something that will grow to become a problem. Take time to consider the seeds growing in your heart, do the necessary weeding, and don’t spread ‘bad seed’.

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