Ok, so it's not about Ancestors, but it struck me today in a kind of "Eureka" moment, so I figured it was worth sharing.
I was weeding the patio - not a job I like or do often, but it needed doing and it was a sunny day! You know, the bits between the paving stones - even when the paving stones are really tightly pushed together, like on our driveway, something always manages to take root somewhere.
Anyway, as you see, the gaps between the paving stones on the patio are pretty wide, so there's plenty of room for things to grow. We keep weeding, and then putting sand in the gaps to try to stop things growing there. But the sand gets washed away with the rain, so the gaps reform. Once I even bought some lovely bright blue glass pebbly bits to spread between the gaps, which looked lovely for a while but the bits kept coming out. They weren't held in securely.
Some weeds don't look so bad though - I was tempted to leave this one because it's got nice flowers. The problem is that other weeds grow amongst it which don't look nice, it will spread because that's the type of plant it is, and ultimately it's not where it should be.
Sometimes we look at things in our lives, and in comparison they don't seem so bad so we're tempted to leave them be - there are more important things to deal with.
When I'd pulled all the weeds out, I had little piles on different paving stones. The wind started to blow, and I could see if I didn't work quickly the weeds would get blown all over the patio and probably back down the gaps I'd pulled them from. So I didn't just leave them there, I got a dustpan and brush, swept up the weeds, and put them in the bin, where they belonged so they couldn't spring up somewhere else.
Even with all this hard work, I realised unless the gaps were filled with something stronger - more solid than sand and more secure than glass pebbles, the weeds would regrow. They might not be the same type of weeds, but something would take root in the gaps and cause me to end up having to do the whole task again of pulling them all out. Almost like I'd wasted my time in the first place, or at least only given myself a temporary reprieve from the unsightly mess.
It seemed to me that this is what we (ie. me included) sometimes do with life... we clear out the rubbish, but it's only temporary because we don't fill the gaps with something strong and secure to stop the rubbish regrowing.
Easier said than done maybe, but I'm learning I can ask God for the right things to go in the gaps and it will happen. Not perhaps in the way I expect, but always in a way that is good for me, often with a better outcome than I could ever have imagined.
Kind of like asking for concrete to be put in the gaps and discovering it's solid diamond instead!
I learnt this at Sunday School as a kid: "Ask and it will be given. Seek and you will find." It's true, when you ask the right person, when you look for the right thing.
Life is far from perfect, but learning how to deal with the weeds can make the difference between struggling and coping.