Recently, I watered a weed. “Big deal,” you say, “most folks in your neighborhood, mortals whose lawns are not perfect, water weeds every time they water. What makes you special?”
No, you don’t understand. For a few weeks in the summer, I singled this weed out and watered it. It had popped up in a planter among some pretty little flowering plants of another variety. But it looked to me a little like some plants I’d ensconced there in a previous season, or, I thought, it might be a type of purslane. So I watered it along with its neighbors.
One day I came home to find that plant rudely plucked and tossed out into the yard by my wife, left to dry up and die and be sucked up into a mower run by a mower. (English is odd, isn’t it? The operator of a mower is both running the mower and is the mower.)
I picked the poor thing up, potted it, placed it in the back yard among other pots of plants, including a pot of purslane, and watered it.
“You are watering a weed,” my wife said.
“I don’t think it’s a weed,” I said.
“It’s a weed,” my wife said.
“I think it’s a type of purslane,” I said.
“It’s a weed,” she said.
Not convinced, I continued watering it. For two or three weeks, maybe a month, I watered it. And it grew. It prospered. But, increasingly, and soon obviously, it began to grow in a gangly, ugly, and—I’m afraid this might be truly said—malignant fashion. Even then, it looked like it might eventually flower, but, before sporting any flowers, it began to develop some hairy, spiny, prickly-looking extrusions along its tendrils (not a purslane sort of thing to do). One might mistake a strikingly beautiful lady for a former Miss America, but if she begins to sprout hairy growths on her snout, one’s opinion might need to be altered to align with reality.
It was a weed.
I hate it when my wife’s right. Which is the vast majority of the time.
So I hereby confess to late-learning a valuable lesson: watering weeds is a fool’s errand.
True, but I’m not lacking in foolish company.
When we continue making slight variations of the same dumb mistake, we’re watering weeds.
When we leap before we look and jump into a hole we’ve jumped into before, that’s watering a weed.
When we choose to be our own victims, bludgeoning ourselves with the same bad choices with which we’ve beaten ourselves before, we’re watering a weed.
When we go to the same places (geographically or mentally), poison ourselves with the same toxins (substances or bad attitudes), continue to surround ourselves with pseudo-friends as rudderless as we are (maybe even not that bad but not interested in being better or encouraging anyone around them in being better), we’re watering weeds.
The result is completely predictable. If we water enough weeds long enough, we’ll end up with a yard or, worse, a life, full of them, all of the good plants choked out. And weeds grow more quickly than we’d think.
From sad experience, I urge you to water only what you really want to grow. Ask for God’s help to know the difference between grassburs and flowers, and to pull up what’s worse than worthless. At the very least, don’t water weeds.
You’re invited to visit my website at http://www.CurtisShelburne.com!
Copyright 2020 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or profiteering is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.