Weeds Or Wildflowers? The Gardener Decides

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I can’t tell if these are weeds or wildflowers.

Each year they appear, uninvited. Unlike the practical perennials I favor, these intruders sprawl, indifferent to edges and hedges and less assertive flowers they smother.

I try to ignore their cheerful yellow greeting–weeds are tricky.  Am I gazing at a toxic invasion, or a brief but harmless grace?

Weeds And Wildflowers Surprise

I thought I knew what my life would look like by now. It used to seem so simple. The journey to success and happiness was laid out like a flagstone path, a well-trimmed route across life’s meadow. Clean up your toys, get the grades, make wise choices, interview well, choose your battles, invest wisely, exercise and eat right, say your prayers.

No one mentioned how far seeds scatter at the whim of a breeze, and of roots sent deep when you’re not watching. A landscape artist of a different sort is sowing mischief, or is it kindness? Either way, weeds happen, both nettle and nice, and we’re not sure which they’ll turn out to be.

Some of you are nodding–you’re looking at a weed right now. A pink slip, a lab result, a moving van, a phone call, an interruption, a disruption, the corruption or correction of your finest dreams. You didn’t plant it. You are caught by surprise.

Weeds Or Weeded?

I take a second look at the buttery blooms filling my front garden. Maybe all along I’ve been mistaken. What if I’m not the gardener here but the soil, and someone else decides what grows?

What if the path doesn’t lead to somewhere I want to be, but to someone I’m meant to be? What if I don’t weed, but I am weeded? What if wildflowers appear and perennials prosper, or both shrivel for a time in the heat, but a successful crop of my own design was never the point of it all?

The results I use to define my life are only fading glory. The disruptions and detours I’m tempted to root up may have been sown there for a reason. In the moment, I can’t tell if what I see are wildflowers or weeds. Can I trust the Gardener to know?

But as for the good soil, these are the ones who, when they hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance. Luke 8:15

Are you surprised by weeds and wildflowers too?

7 thoughts on “Weeds Or Wildflowers? The Gardener Decides

  1. I have to laugh as I read this! Some of the best compliments on our yard we have received have been when the weeds and crab grass begin to bloom! The soil is full of unknown bulbs and seeds that grow and bloom as we faithfully water what we know to nurture.
    This Easter we gave our oldest grandson tomatoe plants. He planted and cares for them diligently. They have begun to flower and will turn into the tomatoe fruit we are all anticipating. The unexpected grows with the planned. The unplanned is a welcome gift .. and it is all exciting in the eyes of a 4 year old !!

  2. Oh how fitting this is in my life, being the avid gardener I am. Just Sat weeding away my garden, planting my tomatoes in a nice neat row, and yesterday, planting my veggie seeds in orderly hills. All the while praying away the weeds of sickness and the effects of years of poor living conditions on my son in his “recovery” from his mental illness at NSH. Oh, the weeding needed there! But trusting God’s plan to one day reveal itself!

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