“WEEDS” – That was the word that jumped out at me as I read my devotional on a Monday morning a few weeks back.

Nothing else, just that one word all by itself…. “weeds”.

I heard it clear as a bell, but one word is not a lot to work with.

I sat there in silence for a few moments, pondering where in the world I could go with it, or if I was to go anywhere with it at all, when my phone dinged.

I had a text, from my mom.  

No enlightening words from mom either, just the photo you see above. A photo, that is void of…. “weeds”.

For context, that yard may look like a post card today, but that was not always the case. Forty years ago, weeds were abundant in that green clear, peaceful, space you see…. and there was the story.

Amazing timing indeed, but as I say…. “That’s how it works”. My God pays for what He orders.

The photo was of the morning sun rise at my childhood home in Rocky Creek, Mississippi. I left home over three decades ago but that view still rings of “home” today. 

In front of the big pine tree you see was the “front yard” and has always been there. I threw more baseballs on that front yard than can be counted, but….

Just beyond that big pine tree there was no useful “yard” at all. It was sort of a no man’s land, and in my young world “the yard” stopped at the big pine tree.

That area beyond the big pine was filled with small trees, scrubby bushes, leaves…. and “weeds”. Nothing even close to being useful, or picture worthy.

Every few years we would burn the overgrown area off, which removed the ground cover, and with the clutter gone the entire hill would almost immediately turn green with new growth, but it never lasted.  

The new green growth would give way to more clutter, then more “weeds”, and in no time at all, the hill would return to an overgrown / unproductive state, and thus the cycle went.

However, the potential that God built in, the beauty, captured in the photo, was always there.… as was evidenced by the green carpet that sprang up each time the life choking clutter, the “weeds”, were removed. Read that twice.

As the decades rolled by things changed on that overgrown hill….

Trees were slowly thinned, often thanks to hurricanes, and as a result the remaining trees grew much larger. Bushes were removed, grass began to grow, then spread, and eventually covered the entire hill.

Three decades after I left home, the hill has been transformed into what you see in the photo, and that was no small transformation.

Thing is…. that area beyond the big pine tree was always loaded with potential from The Creator, but the potential, the “yard”, had to be brought out.

That entire area had to be pruned, cut back, cleaned off, kept clean, given time to grow, and even today it must still be tended…. But look at it now.

On that note, our home, our life, our mind…. Is no different than that hill.

Thanks to the weeks of quarantine, I have been “home” like I literally never have before, and economic aspects aside, I have enjoyed the time with my family, but the time to ponder has made me more aware of the “weeds” that are all around me.

The “clutter” of too many things in my home….

Boxes of “might need it one day”, shelves of books, countless mementos from days gone by, multiples of many items.

So many things I simply DO NOT NEED in my house, the shed, the carport…. are all the equivalent of “weeds”, vying for my attention, adding unnecessary stress to my life.

The “clutter” of too many things in my life….

On top of the cluttered house, an overbooked calendar, filled with seemingly small obligations that absolutely pile up, keeping the “main things” in my life, from being the “main things” each day.

If it hampers tending to and nurturing “the main things”…. then it is a “weed”.

The clutter of too many things in my mind….

And not just the collective of things, but what about the quality of things I feed my mind each day? Is my mental diet promoting me, or demoting me?

Is what I am allowing to enter my mind creating thoughts that take me toward God, or thoughts that push God away from me? Am I planting fruit…. or am I planting “weeds”?   

I say all of that to say what that photo said to me on that Monday morning….

Clear the “weeds” of the enemy, and of this world, from your home, your life, your mind.

Create an environment in, and around you, that allows the potential, THE PURPOSE, God sent you here with to grow, and mature, into what He created, and intended, it to be.

Then diligently tend, protect, and share, what He is creating in and around you.

Get out of the weeds… Get In The Boat. Do Your Part.

From Nose To Toes!

Shane / #16…. The1SixProject.com

(Yes, sharing Is Encouraged!)