Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Another Garden Lesson

I mentioned to him that I needed to head out to my garden and get after that spring phlox, the wild variety.

"You could just let it all go. You know, you get that Victorian garden effect."

"Oh," I chortled, "that Victorian garden effect is actually quite studied and planned. It is not a free for all. If I don't remove the excessively aggressive stuff, it will choke out the others and soon I will have predominately spring phlox and nothing else. No other color, no other size. The delicate will be trampled, the less pushy types will be swallowed up. It won't look pretty at all."

As I spent the next hour digging I found greater evidence of that very truth. In the midst of the carpet of a grassy-leaved white flower bearing plant several spring phlox were pushing through. Now - I have hopes of someday splitting that carpeted mass and sharing it with daughters. But I would never do so if I thought a single root of this phlox was present. So I will now need to cut out large portions of the good in order to be sure to rid the mass of the bad. And I best do it soon, or there will not be any uncontaminated good left at all.

It is popular to think that a truly Christian church is a place of great liberty where anything goes. We like to think that our Christian walk allows us great liberty as well. But as I considered my garden dilemma I realized, too, that God has called some things sin and some things holy. We should not tolerate ALL things, and we should take note of what is not good, to eliminate such things, lest they crowd out, trample, and overcome the good, the delicate.

Just like that wild Victorian cottage garden is actually carefully planned, so is true liberty. If chaos reigns, you can be sure that true and just liberty will not be found.