But suddenly, your ruthless enemies will be crushed like the finest of dust. Your many attackers will be driven away like chaff before the wind.
Isaiah 29:5 NLT
Last autumn, when the leaves fell, bad weather stopped me clearing them, which meant a lot of work when spring arrived – eight hours of it. As I scarified the lawn, I reflected how this process matched my own walk with God. Looking out across the grass, you would never assume that a large part of the greenery was in fact damaging the lawn, preventing new growth, suffocating good grass and creating a spongy, water-retaining membrane which encouraged the garden to flood in heavy rain. I compared this with my own life. Apparently ordered and subject to God’s leadership, in fact mixed in with the good was an ever-increasing amount of debris, easy to ignore.
Effective, practical discipleship demands I closely scrutinise my life, my behaviours and my thought patterns. It’s all too easy for me to become drawn into life, and fail to see how I drift towards serving my own ambitions. It’s not easy to spot these miniscule navigational adjustments until I am confronted with possible disaster, such as running aground. Then I seek to make rapid adjustments, but the work required and the position I’m in present a very small window for error correction.
I am always shocked at just how much ‘junk’ the scarifier removes from my lawn. For a few weeks the grass looks messy and uncared for. It has experienced some ruthless treatment, but without it, it would disappear entirely. When looking at houses before settling on the Oratory, we looked round one very sweet place. However, the back garden was like stepping onto a sponge. The lawn had been replaced by a thick bed of moss, which squelched beneath our feet. I’d rather suffer the scarifying blades and keep my life spiritually vibrant and close to God.
Keeping close to God is always a battle. The foes are more often unnoticed yet unsightly. You need to identify, then address and finally pull up the debris that grows in your life for fear of losing the garden God has planted in your heart.
What is the debris that needs to be removed in your life?
Help me to be vigilant, Lord, and able to identify the ‘moss’ that threatens to overwhelm the ‘good grass’ of my life.