We have a small patch of grass that we call our "yard". It's not even big enough for me to do a cartwheel. One would think that a yard of such a small size would be easy to maintain.
Yes, one would think that.
There was a point sometime in the year 2013 when it looked pleasant and inviting. We removed all the weeds, put down fresh grass, planted some flowers around the perimeter, and even added a cute, little lamp post. Precious.
Initially, we stayed on top of the weeds. A weed would pop up...*pluck*...gone. Another..*pluck*.."nice try, weed". Over time, we got a little lazy and the time it took to pluck all of the weeds became longer. Further into the year, our weeds grew flowers. I convinced myself that it looked pretty and "at least something was growing." An opinion which I did NOT share with the actual flowers that I wanted to bloom and blossom. Yes, I began to resent the good guys. I put no effort into maintaining the health of our yard and I stooped to the lowliest of lows when I began to think that the weeds "weren't all that bad."
Slowly but surely, the weeds took over and just looked messy. I was so embarrassed. Hoping no one would really notice, I ignored it. But my hopes were dashed when, on multiple occasions, I had people knock on my gate and ask me if they could help me clean it up.
"No, no. That's not necessary. I got this," I would respond.
"Yeah, sure you do," is most likely the thought that went through each person's mind.
There was even a time when we let some friends leave their car parked in front of our house for a couple of weeks and I was so pleased that it blocked our yard from the view of those passing by.
It wasn't until a few days before the new year that I decided "it was time." The weather was dreary and rainy but those weeds had to go. There was even a weed out there taller than me, for goodness sake! I put on my rain boots, found one work glove and one yellow, rubber glove (I'm a fashionista, what can I say), and went to work.
Ripping. Pulling. Yanking.
Some came up with ease, others with resistance. Some lashed out at me with thorns and ant beds, and some wouldn't budge one bit.
I stood up from my squatting position and panted from exhaustion. My skin was covered with a mixture of sweat, rain dew, and remnants of weeds.
And I was thirsty.
Physically thirsty, yes, but more so I felt convicted of my obvious spiritual thirst. I immediately realized that this yard was the visual timeline of my spiritual walk for the year 2013.
I started off fresh, healthy, easily able to spot the sin in my life. I grew lazy. I wrote my sins off as "not that bad." My outward appearance of "holiness" was just as misleading as the flowers that grew from those weeds in my front yard. This inevitably led to my complete lack of desire to have any sort of intimacy with the Lord. I was resistant to let go of my deeply rooted sin and sometimes, yes, I even lashed out at the Gardner who was only trying to help.
"If anyone is thirsty,
let him come to me and drink"
The long-suffering patience of our Savior is truly something to be admired. Despite a year of rebellion, running, and resistance to His Holy Spirit, he still implores, "come to me."
Not only that, He removes our thirst and restores our soul. What must one do to receive such grace?
Must we wait our turn? Surely there were others who came for a drink before me.
Must we tidy ourselves up a bit? Appearance is everything, right?
Do we need a golden cup to give to the Prince of Peace and Son of God so that he might, in return, gives us a drink?
No requirements -- just come thirsty.
Whatever causes our thirst (greed, ambition, pleasure, knowledge, lust)... Jesus says, "come to me and drink."
It's tempting for me to make another list of resolutions this new year. I truly love the satisfaction that comes from crossing stuff off lists. However, I believe making a list was the beginning of my downfall this past year. My goals, my ambitions, my plans amount to nothing if all I have to show for my life by the end of the year is a weed-covered, thirsty soul.
This year there will be no list. I simply resolve to go to Jesus each and every day of the year -
and drink of Him.