Perspective – is the thistle a pest or a friend?
In the canola fields I was in - it would seem to be a pest – perhaps it originally was planted as a row of protective measure to keep out the foraging deer, but it seems in this field at least to have taken over. From a distance the fields looked lush with yellow canola blossoms but standing in the fields themselves the reality was - thistles were almost as plentiful.
While I was standing there a few scripture verses came to mind:
Thistles were included in the original curse to Adam after the Garden of Eden.
“Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life. 18"Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field;” Genesis 3:17-18 NIV
“I went past the field of a sluggard, past the vineyard of someone who has no sense;
31thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds,
and the stone wall was in ruins.” Proverbs 24:30-31 NIV
“A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” Matthew 13:3-8 NIV
Allow me to put this thistle/canola picture into an illustration of our lives.
We allow some small things into our lives that can have immense value to us – let me pick something we all can relate to – television. It is a good thing, it helps us have world event knowledge, it can help us know what the weather is or will be. It can be entertaining, giving us laughter and tears over others stories and dramas. But if we allow television in just a little bit – after a while we often see a trend to allowing the television to take over our evenings, and sometimes a large part of our days. I have walked into people’s homes where the television is on 24 hours a day whether someone is watching it or not.
This valuable tool can take over and can stimulate and motivate our moods and outlooks based on what is playing on the television. We have gone from being astounded to seeing Elvis gyrate on the screen to allowing soft porn right into our living rooms with daytime soap operas and movies and not be shocked anymore. In this case, it has choked out the good it was originally doing, slowly eroding our morality view.
It is a perfect example of something that has huge value and can be immensely helpful, slowly moving in and taking over our lives and changing our perspectives. Just like the thistles that are classified as “invasive” –the things we allow into our world can have a tendency to invade our thoughts and our daily living.
I am not saying television is wrong – I could have picked a hundred different things to use as my example. Money, food, exercise, people, sex, books, career, computer, facebook……..
We must be careful to analyze our lives and see what might have “sneaked” in over time. What things have I allowed to take over, whether they seem healthy or not. If our lives are controlled by anything it can lead to our destruction or even to the destruction of our families. Balance is the key to everything.
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.” 1 Corinthians 10:23 NIV
I love the practical nature of the Bible – it is an old book with present day wisdom if we choose to use it. I know I am going to do some analyzing and see if I have allowed some invasive weeds into my world.