My church owns a vineyard. We do everything there is to do at a vineyard: prune, harvest, weed, etc. The grapes that are harvested we turn into raisins that are used for humanitarian aid around the world. It's a pretty neat experience, and we all get a nice coating of dirt (which is gross because we go home sneezing it all out...the things we do for other people). I went today, to tie the vines to the wires and to pull weeds. That's what I got stuck doing...pulling the weeds. They were small and gross, and half of them were super small.
But I got to thinking as I pulled. In a few months, those small weeds would be huge and get in the way of the people who were trying to harvest. That would just make the work go by slower. And some of those small weeds were SO stubborn! I could pull the leaves off, but I couldn't get to the roots, and that's no good because more weeds would grow there, too. So I had to make an effort and dig a little until I got to the roots.
And then I had an "a-ha" moment. I realized that these weeds are really symbolic of sin. There are big ones that we pull real easily because we can see them and just a quick pull will take the roots right out. But we have small weeds, too, in our garden of life. A little white lie, a quick peek while no one is watching, one word, one negative remark. There are so many weeds we need to pull! They seem small now, but in the future they're going to be huge and get in the way of the work that we are destined to do. And sometimes we think, hey if I pull the leaves off, or make it look like everything's okay, then it will be. But they will continue to take our nutrients, to take away from the Lord's Spirit in our lives, and we will grow farther apart from our Father. That's exactly the opposite of what we want and need to do!
So let's make an effort to weed out those little suckers. All it calls for is a self-evaluation, a change of heart, and a determination to keep the weeds away. Forever. Doing so will bring us closer to our home in heaven, closer to our loving Father's open arms.