Crabgrass and Change
The annual spring ritual of lawn care has begun again! I am not one of those neighbors with the pristine, perfectly manicured lawn. My primary goal is to mow the yard often enough that the weeds and the grass remain close in height and blend together in a somewhat harmonious green ground cover.
Our yard serves as home to plenty of dandelions and clover and other weedy plants I can’t identify. I draw the line, however, at crabgrass. In my first round with the mower this spring, I discovered two flourishing specimens in our yard that I attacked vigorously. Crabgrass possesses a strong taproot that must be killed or largely removed, or the plant will come back, often stronger.
Since “thorns and thistles” constitute evidence of the fall (Genesis 3:18), it is not surprising that dealing with weeds serves as a helpful analogy for dealing with problems and effecting meaningful change.
A weed like crabgrass invades healthy soil and jeopardizes the ability of more desirable plants to thrive, or even survive. To treat the visible symptoms by chopping off the broad, prickly blades of crabgrass leaves the root behind to sprout again. We must both attack “the root of the problem” and fill the cleansed space with that which is good. Remember what happened to “the house swept clean” of the impure spirit in Luke 11:24-26. Seven more wicked spirits took up residence so that the person’s condition became worse than before.
Unfortunately, although the world’s problems cry out for much greater attention, too little of the time, energy, and money that are being invested address the underlying causes. These causes are frequently difficult to identify, and even harder to address. Those who make the effort, however, have the potential to do more than “chop the tops off the weeds.”
Next: What about starfish savers and fishing instructors?