Ok, I’ll just pause for a moment here so you can either stop scratching your head or laughing out loud about the title for today’s story…..
Finished? All right, now let me explain. Flashes of old Elmer Fudd cartoons may have come rushing into your mind when you read “Mind Weeding” or maybe you thought my spell check wasn’t working properly and it should read “Mind Reading.” At any rate, neither scenario is correct. You read it right the first time. I want to talk about mind weeding – weeding those thoughts that tend to creep into our minds that, if they aren’t properly identified and removed, can take over and send us spiraling down an unnecessary rabbit hole!
Our minds are the center point of who we are. The Bible talks about our minds like a rudder that will either steer us towards God or away from Him. In fact, Jesus said our minds play a big part in obeying the most important commandment.
Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
– Matthew 22:37-40
Paul wrote in the book of Romans that our minds and the thoughts we think will determine where we spend eternity.
Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.
– Romans 8:5-6
As Believers, we are to be united in our purpose as followers of Jesus. The way we live our lives and show love for each other is what makes following Jesus attractive to the world.
I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.
– 1 Corinthians 1:10
And in case you’ve lived under the misguided idea that our thoughts are private and no one knows what’s going on in the most private corners of our brain…
But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.
– Jeremiah 17:10
So now that we understand the importance of paying attention to what is going on in the fertile soil of our minds, what does it mean to “mind weed?”
In my garden, one of the ongoing and never ending chores is weeding. It’s one of those tasks that I have a true love/hate relationship with. I hate the actual weeding, but boy, oh boy, do I love the look of a freshly weeded garden!
Over the years, my garden has taught me many valuable lessons. Most of them have become the centerpiece of a lot of my stories. Here’s the valuable lesson I’ve learned about weeding; if you do it often and make a habit of looking at the garden every day, inspecting every corner for those pesky little devils, and pluck them every time you see them, they won’t have the chance to take over. A garden taken over by weeds is not the kind of garden that it was intentionally planted to be.
I have made a habit of never ever passing by a weed without bending down and pulling it out by its roots. That works great in my own garden but is more than a little embarrassing when walking through public spaces. I’m pretty sure the folks at my local garden center roll their eyes when I walk in and start plucking weeds out of the plants they are trying to sell to the general public! And thank goodness Disneyland has a whole team of gardeners who take care of that before the park opens. I’d probably get caught by the Mouse himself with a handful of weeds in one hand and a churro in the other!
So the first lesson from my garden is to make it a habit to check for weeds daily and pull them as they show themselves. The second lesson is just as valuable, although a little more challenging. You have to make sure you get the whole weed up and out, especially the roots. If you spend just enough effort to clear the garden of the tops of weeds, it looks lovely and pristine from a distance and for about a day. But because the roots were left in place, those pesky little things sprout right back up. Plus I swear they seem stronger and more dug in then when I made my first pass through.
It’s as if the weed thinks to itself, “ah, she missed the most important part! This will give me a chance to gain a little more strength and soak up a few more nutrients before she comes this way again. If I can get my roots down deep enough, she’ll never be able to fully get rid of me!” (Insert evil villain laugh here!)
When I invest a bit of my time and energy daily, I’m better focused and disciplined and my garden is happier and healthier. Then when that crazy rainy season hits and everything is covered in mud, or I’m gone on vacation enjoying time with my family, and I walk outside to a literal jungle of unwelcome growth, nothing has been there long enough to get any depths to their roots. And talk about a satisfying feeling! Pulling out and getting rid of those giant weeds, roots and all, gives me a sense of freedom and joy. Its like my garden and I have a fresh start!
What tiny weeds have started taking up residency in the garden of your mind? Doubt and Anxiety are frequent guests for me. A tiny doubt can suddenly become a full fledged anxiety attack if I don’t deal with it right away. Satan says I can’t or I’m not good enough or talented enough or worthy enough. That can stop me dead in my tracks, not able to take a step forward.
But God says I can and, because of Him, I am good enough. My talents are gifts that God gave me. He only makes the best and gives the best, so my talents are exactly what He designed just for me. And as for being worthy enough? God proved that fact beyond a shadow of a doubt when He decided I was worthy enough for His one and only Son to die on a cross in my place!
So, my little mind weeding friends, let’s keep our garden gloves handy and yank those weeds every time we see them and allow the Master Gardener, Jesus, to keep our hearts and minds focused on Him! Happy weeding!