For the last three years, I have had a beautiful flower bed in front of my house. Gorgeous roses bloomed all the way through summer. This year is a different story. The whole thing is OUT. OF. CONTROL. I started out right. I pruned the rose bushes, cleaned the beds, put down mulch. It looked great. But there was a new weed in the grass this year and the clippings blew into the flower bed. I noticed them, but I was busy with a new job and didn’t get them out immediately. It seems like overnight the weeds took root and became a foot tall choking out my beautiful roses. I saw it happening and said that as soon as I had a day at home, I would pull them, but I kept having to put that day off. Now I have a huge project in front of me that could have been avoided by just spending a little time each day pulling the weeds as soon as I saw them. Matthew 13 tells the story of a man sowing seeds. Verse 7 states “and some fell among the thorns and the thorns sprung up , and choked them”. In verse 22, Jesus explains that portion of the parable by telling them “he that also received seeds among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful”. We are very busy people. Jobs, children, commitment to others keep up feeling like we go non-stop. Sometimes we see that stray weed pop up in our spiritual garden, but we are just too busy to stop and get rid of it. Our relationship with God should be our first priority. When we spend time daily with Him and His word, He will show us those things that we need to get rid of and the things we need to water and cultivate in our lives. Love and joy will grow and weeds like hate and bitterness will never even have a chance to root.