This morning I was kneeling in the flower beds of my front yard. Spring-slash-summer has finally arrived, and I couldn’t ignore the weeds proliferating the area any longer. Weeding is tedious work. My back ached and my patience grew thinner as the dirt under my fingernails grew thicker. It’s not a stretch to say I despise the act of weeding – but I sure do enjoy the results!
Thinking about it, I’m frustrated that I have to weed at all. Before we planted this flower bed, we did everything right to prepare the area. We thoroughly eradicated everything that had been there before and started with a clean plot. We put down landscaping fabric to block out anything that may still have been lurking in the soil. We mulch regularly to keep the good plants healthy and choke out the weeds. We even had curbing poured around the perimeter of the beds.
There are STILL weeds!
Somehow, despite our best attempts, weeds are still finding their way into the flower beds and are threatening to destroy the beauty of the good plants. To be honest, I’ve walked past those flower beds hundreds of times and haven’t seen the weeds.
It’s not that they weren’t there – I just chose to ignore them.
And then this weekend I stood outside, having a chat with a friend who stopped by for a brief visit, and all my eyes could see were weeds.
I don’t mind the big ones as much – the ones that are easy to yank up as I casually walk by. They fill a trash bag quickly and make me feel accomplished. It’s the little ones that drive me nuts – the ones that you can spend an hour pulling up by their almost microscopic roots, and at the end of that hour not see any measurable progress.
If only I had kept up with those tiny weeds, they wouldn’t be choking out my roses.
What about the weeds in our lives, in our leadership? Can you see them? Or have you walked by them so often you don’t recognize them for what they are anymore?
Are you willing to get into an uncomfortable position in order to identify and handle them?
Maybe you spent a considerable amount of time protecting against weeds in your life or leadership, but you’ve forgotten to do regular maintenance.
When others spend time with you, do they see your weeds or your roses?
Weeds are impossible to get rid of completely. They will sneak into our lives when we least expect them and when we stop protecting against them. But regular care will keep them from overtaking us.
For the rest of this week, you’ll find me in the flower bed each morning for at least thirty minutes. I’ll be on my knees, trying to take back ground for the beautiful things I want to display in my yard. And once that’s accomplished, I’ll be there regularly, pulling up the little things that can so easily get out of control.