It has been such a joy these last couple of weeks watching through the office window as the families have come to take care of the rainbow garden on the corner. The kiddos have ended up drenched in the watering process and there have been a lot of giggles! But the laughter in the garden reminded me of a sign I once saw…PARASITES R IN YOUR SOUL! That’s what I thought the sign said, at least at first glance. I figured out that I was driving past a lawn care business, and the sign actually read, “PARASITES R IN YOUR SOIL.” The sign reminded me that we do have those things that try to burrow their way into our spiritual lives, stifling our Christian growth and preventing the seeds of faith to flourish. That can be especially true at this time of year: our thoughts turn more toward leisure and less toward learning, the holidays tend to be more toward the secular Fourth of July and Labor Day than to the sacred Christmas and Easter, and more and more activities try to pull us away from church than draw us there.
Perhaps the biggest spiritual parasite is apathy. We don’t put in the time or effort to grow our faith. Especially with Covid-19 causing the church to be closed physically, it can be so easy to disengage. It becomes easier to sleep in rather than come to worship or to turn on the tv rather than spend time reading God’s word or connecting with a small group. But when we fail to tend to our gardens, the weeds grow and the parasites come in.
We all could use some “weed and feed” in our lives. We need to weed out the things that move us away from God. We need to get rid of the distractions that pull us away. Then we need to feed. We need to spend more time doing those things that bring us closer to God. We need to be studying God’s word, connecting with other Christians, spending time in worship, and praying continually.
I love the way the message paraphrase puts our charge from Hebrews, “Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God.”
So this summer, let’s put that “weeding and feeding” into practice. Let’s get rid of the parasites that are weighing us down and instead fill our time and our life with Christ, the Living Water!
Working in the field of souls with you,