Christ-followers at Vision of Hope should be on their knees a lot in prayer and in uprooting dandelions. At least that’s our new philosophy during spring at VOH and we love it!
On the Vision of Hope property this past week, all of us were on our knees pulling some serious dandelions. Why? For several reasons, but primarily because God owns everything and we own nothing. We are simply stewards. Everything we have been given is from God, and God could call us into account at any time; it could actually be today.
Those are the stewardship principles Faith Church leaders taught us last Fall and we are applying them not only to being good stewards of the residents and interns God has sent our way, but also endeavoring to be good stewards of our property. We want to be found faithful if God were to call us into account of what we did with the amazing property with which He has blessed us at Vision of Hope.
Why even take care of grass? It’s just something to hold the dirt in place right? No, of course, there is more. To be good stewards of the land and to be good witnesses to our neighbors is one reason why we work hard in landscaping.
What if we just let a little dandelion growth come up on the property? I mean really, is it that serious that we would change our schedule, call the troops together and go out for several hours to uproot these things? Aren’t they pretty anyway? Doesn’t the yellow color just brighten things up for awhile and then it all goes away after a short season, right?Right?
Not exactly. Think of dandelions like sin. They might look sweet and pretty for awhile on the outside but what’s going on beneath the surface is dangerous. The people of God cannot ignore what we deem improperly as the little cute sins, thinking they are not bothering anyone and they will go away after a little while. The roots (actually a taproot system in the dandelion) are stealing nutrients and water from the grass and literally cumber the ground. They rob the grass of what it needs to prosper and they spread like wildfire if not pulled out by the roots before they bloom. Sounds a lot like sin, doesn’t it? Robbing us of the fruit of the Spirit and spreading in our hearts leading us to act like rebels if we don’t root it out. Eventually, dandelions will ruin a lawn by killing the grass. I’ve seen many lives ruined by sin killing the relationships in one’s life.
God cursed the ground and said thorns and thistles would come up instead of what we want to plant but His mercy allows us the ability to work at keeping those weeds at bay. So to answer the query of, “It’s just a few dandelions. Is it really that big a deal that we be so aggressive and strive for perfection on the lawn?”
I answer with another question: “Let’s say we have 50 dandelions on the property. Let’s also imagine that our congregation was polled and we decided as a group that 50 dandelions were not bothersome to us. If this amount of dandelions is not bothersome to you, then at what point would it become bothersome? 100 dandelions? 1000? 4 acres? How much sin do we allow in our lives? How much is too much? We have to come to the point where we take a stand and say that it is our desire that our lawn be well maintained and that we aggressively pursue to stop the multiplication of any and all dandelions in our midst by uprooting them – possibly every day – as soon as we notice. Because it affects our rate of production of good Kingdom fruit of the Spirit (the grass).
Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them says Ephesians 5:11 (NASB). For the glory of God, we will not let sin go untouched because we love one another and because we serve a forgiving and powerful God who wants to uproot sin in our lives making us more like Christ. This is our stance on unrepentant sin in our church family, and yes this is our stance on dandelions in our lawn.
Lawn care is an investment in our property of which we are only stewards for a short while then someone after us will take over. Let’s be diligent to not tolerate (overlook) that which we may be tempted to call a “little sin” residing in our own hearts. Remember how our sin robs the people of God from the fruit we were meant to display in the Church and in the world. Let’s love our neighbors well — let’s go uproot some dandelions for His glory!
-Pastor Mark Shaw and his wife, Mary (grateful for the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives)