Creeping Charlie was already flourishing in our backyard when we moved in last summer. We had been working on hand pulling some of it and forgot to apply a herbicide on it last fall when it would have been a good time to do so.
So this spring, when we worked to till the southern portion of the lawn to make a garden, I knew I really needed to get down on my hands and knees and work on pulling out the Creeping Charlie before the machine ripped it all to bits and I ended up spreading the annoying groundcover.
For the most part, that helped. One good afternoon of pulling cleared out that space and made it a mostly acceptable spot to till and garden.
But these last few days, as I have had time to spend in the garden weeding, it is all over the place.
Not the big swaths of it like before, but little tiny clusters here and there.
Trying to come back.
Trying to grow and spread.
In our spiritual lives and in our ministries, there are things we want to get rid of or stop doing as well. Bad habits. Old priorities. Outdated methods.
Just like the Creeping Charlie was once touted as a excellent groundcover with its pretty blue flowers, these things might have had their time and place. Or they might have always been unwelcome in our lives and in our churches.
Either way, when you try to change something and go in a different direction, there are bits and pieces of the past that keep coming back.
A change in worship styles that keeps being invaded with requests to sing the old hymns.
Deciding to offer only healthy snacks after worship until someone brings donuts, again.
Setting aside time for devotions that keeps getting eaten away at by the kids waking up earlier.
Trying to quit complaining (gossiping, smoking, you name it) but continuing to hang out with people who do.
This summer, I’m learning persistence and patience in the garden. Keep at it. Expect growth of those things you tried to set aside. Take a deep breath and just keep pulling it back out. Calmly. Consistently.