Thursday, May 30, 2013

Parasites


“Search me, O God, and know my heart;

test me and know my anxious thoughts.

See if there is any offensive way in me,

and lead me in the way everlasting.”

– Psalm 139: 23-24

Lately in the garden, I’ve taken notice of the myriad of insects moving about in the soil. I’ve also noticed some clinging to leaves on the plants. I have no idea how to tell which are parasites and which are beneficial to the garden. But I know that there’s definitely a difference between the two. One type causes destruction and the other helps growth.

I got to thinking about how these insects are a parallel to the habits that we develop and maintain in our lives. Some habits are like parasites, they damage relationships and hinder growth. Good habits, like beneficial insects, enrich our lives and the fruit we bear.

Part of why I wanted to grow a vegetable garden is to enjoy pesticide-free produce. So as I notice any damage to the plants, I’ve been researching ways to eliminate the parasites in the garden without potentially dangerous chemicals. This is definitely not the quickest way to get results, but perhaps it’s the best.

So many times in our yards and gardens we want a quick spray to get rid of the bugs or weeds. We want instant results. Isn’t this just what we so often do in our lives? We want a solution or a program to make us instantly change. Oh, I know that I so often want this in so many areas of my life!

A quick solution might get rid of the parasites for now, but they’ll likely return if we don’t get to the root of the problem. I know that putting in the extra work and time will give me lasting results:

A few years ago, Will and I attended a marriage small group at our church. One of the questions in our homework had to do with parasites in our marriage. We had to identify any parasites and confess them to each other. Doing this exercise became a pivotal point in our marriage. Once we did this and put in a lot of hard work, the parasites began to disappear. We replaced them with some beneficial habits, which have helped our marriage to grow and become stronger.

Might we be so brave to try and remove some parasites together? One of the things I’m working on is to be less cluttered, in my schedule and in my home. (I know my husband will appreciate this!) What about you?

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