The thing about a garden is that the gardener must never allow the weeds to overcome. If that happens, the result is pain. Pain in the back from all the bending, pain in the knuckles from all the grabbing, pain in the elbows from all the pulling, pain in the head from too much heat and dust and sun. Yeah, when weeds take over, the gardener suffers.
It seems that this is a good metaphor for life. Too many weedy things rise up and try to conquer. If they are not checked, they multiply. And suffering comes with them. This is not the kind of suffering that comes from the injustice exacted by an oppressor. Rather, it is a kind of suffering that comes from having to remove those weeds.
Pulling weeds from one’s life is like pulling weeds from the garden soil. The roots must come with the top of the plant; otherwise, it is likely to regrow. And some weeds’ roots are deep and notoriously stubborn. Those weeds are so entrenched that they do not let go easily. These are the ones that cause the most suffering.
Why? Because they require the most persistent work to dig them out for good. Those who would tend the garden of their hearts must be tough, deliberate, and wise. Wisdom identifies those weeds that shade the heart, crowd the fruit, and invite the pests. Deliberation identifies the best way to tackle the weed’s removal. And toughness gets the job done no matter how difficult the task.
This is the way of the garden life. Weeding . . . weeding . . . weeding.