By Stewart Holloway
PINEVILLE, La. (LBM) – For over two months now, my oldest son, my mom, and I have spent most Friday mornings at my mom’s clearing overgrown brush. What was planted as a fruit orchard in an open pasture almost thirty years ago has grown into a wilderness of every kind of vine and tree imaginable.
How did the orchard get that way? For one, my dad seldom pruned anything. He liked to plant things and watch them grow. Therefore, the fruit trees and grapevines grew too big. That l…ed to the second problem: procrastination. As other trees started to come up among the fruit trees, even though I mowed the area through high school and college, I was not allowed to cut those trees. “We’ll cut them later.” Well, we never did. Daddy said “later” until he died thirteen years ago. When I moved here, mom said, “Sometime we need to cut those trees.” I too said, “Later.” Now, here we are another twelve years later! Guess what? The little trees aren’t so little anymore and now there are a lot more!
We have worked hard cutting down trees, pulling vines, and hauling brush to our now three massive piles. We are nowhere near through. However, when we stopped on Friday, we rejoiced because we could see all the way through the wilderness at one point to the pasture behind. We could see the light!
Old orchards aren’t the only place brush grows. It grows in our spiritual lives as well. Anytime we neglect God’s word, allow other things to pull us away from participation in the church, and yield to sin, vines and trees begin to grow. They are small at first, barely even noticeable. They don’t even distract us too much from the light. Before we realize it, however, we find that the light has been blocked. The light has never left, of course, but the stuff of life has all but choked it out.
If you find yourself in that situation, get out a chainsaw and start cutting. Purge things from your life that don’t belong there. Then pile that stuff up and burn it. How do you do that? Work! Get in God’s word and see what He tells you to remove. Pray fervently for God to reveal and remove things in your life that don’t belong there. Get back in church as a priority of your life. Before long, you’ll exclaim, “I see the light!” That first glimmer is a wonderful experience, and it will help you keep pressing on until the light shines brightly through your life once again!
Stewart Holloway is pastor of First Baptist Church in Pineville. This editorial first appeared on his Facebook page.