Dandylynes – that’s how my husband pronounces dandelions. This spring there were hundreds and hundreds of them in our yard. I thought I would be industrious and dig them out one by one. I used to do that as a child for punishment. My parents would send us out to dig dandelions when we misbehaved.
I have a lot of experience with it. I did a lot of them, but still there were hundreds of them. I soon realized it was almost a never-ending job, because no matter how many I dug, more popped up. I could have used a weed spray for a quick and easy way to get rid of them. But that has negative consequences on the environment, the water, not to mention our cats might get sick eating the grass that was contaminated by the spray. Yes, it kills the dandelions, but of what consequence?
I was musing on this and thought it’s a good example of our spiritual life. We have these things in the flesh that we try to overcome. It seems like we try and try and they are still there. We may feel like we have made progress for awhile, but then look up to realize it’s still there. There is no short, easy way to be free from our besetting sins. How do we change? How do we walk away from those things that seem to dog us all our lives? I have been meditating on this for weeks, reading my Bible trying to understand the path to freedom.
There were big things that I got free of relatively quickly when I turned my life over to the Lord, outward things like alcoholism, for example. It took some time, but there is something about being visible and in the open that makes us want to walk away from it. But there there are things that aren’t so visible, things that are just as bad, but no one knows about them – except God, of course. Why do we think that as long as no one can see them, it’s something we can ignore and continue in? Pleasing God should be our first desire, but many times pleasing others is our motivation, or even pleasing ourselves, because we feel better when we are free from certain things.
We need to look at our motivation for our actions – is it really to please God, or is it to please people? To look better in the eyes of others? And then, when we realized we need to change something, how can we change? How can we get free of something once and for all? Or will it be there always, and we have to constantly ask God to help us stay free from it? Something to ponder for sure. I think as a Western culture we have become so soaked in the Greek philosophical mindset, that we separate physical from spiritual, our humanity from our spiritual life, and we justify things by saying “We’re only human, it’s human nature, people will be people after all.” But in a Hebraic mindset there is no separation. It all belongs to God Everything we do, whether publicly or privately, has implications for the Kingdom of God and for our relationship with God. There is really no difference, except for our motivation to desire to change.
The amazing thing to me is the longsuffering grace of God that keeps on keeping on with us. After we fail so many times, He comes back and says “Let’s try again.” It’s beyond my comprehension. His love is everlasting and enduring, no matter what. And it seems that sometimes something we have struggled with for so long, one day we awake and we have victory. I don’t know how that happens, but I know it has something to do with listening to that still, small voice in our heart that says “Turn this way, turn away from that.” And each time we do that, we become spiritually stronger, and it makes it easier to follow the right path.