Yesterday, the weather was perfect. I got out of work at noon (thanks to summer hours) and wanted to spend time outdoors. So, I decided to tackle a job that was long overdue. Our patio has become overgrown with weeds and I took the time to pull them all up and sweep the patio free of their remains. It was a big job and took me most of the afternoon.
As I was pulling the weeds, I thought about how fast they grow and how quickly they will come back. I tried to get every bit of root, to try to slow their return. As I was doing this, I thought about how my negative attitudes and bad habits are like these weeds. If I ignore them, they grow and spread like the overgrown weeds on my patio. If I attend to them, and I just do a halfhearted job, they will still be there, ready to spring back into my life immediately. When I realize bad attitudes are present, I must vigilantly pull them out, dig for their roots, sweep away all evidence. It’s not enough to just take care of what is on the surface. I have to get in there and explore my heart for any remaining pieces of the root of the attitude.
When the job was done, the patio looked great. As much as I hate to use weed killer, I decided that it was necessary to use it this time. The weeds had been very well-established and I knew I had not been able to get every bit of every root. I wondered what the “weed killer” is for removal of my negative attitudes. Hmmm. First, there is prayer. Prayer, either conversation with God or quiet meditation, help me to realign myself with the divine plan and guides me toward permanent eradication of my bad habits. Second, there is study. Reflecting on scripture, Thought Conditioners, or the writings of great people can help me effect more permanent change of my bad attitudes.
I think there is no easy, permanent way to eradicate my bad habits and attitudes. I think, like weeds, I must be on the lookout for their telltale signs and be prepared to rip them out when they first show themselves. I don’t want to wait until my patio is overgrown to weed it again and I don’t want to wait until bad attitudes are firmly established to try to get them out of my life. It’s much easier to get them while they are small.