A coworker of mine recently tackled the task of trimming up the trees and bush-laden back fence of his yard. Overhanging shrubs from the creek bed behind his house had grown way too large, totally shading his yard and becoming obnoxious.

A few days before, my wife and I had offered to help him with the project. By the time we arrived the morning of the project, he had already trimmed back the trees and shrubs on the inside of his fence line. But after finishing that task and looking past the fence, it was plain to see that was a very temporary fix, as the original trees, vines and shrubs were huge and would quickly be growing over his fence again in no time. Some of the shrubs on the outside of his fence were twenty to thirty feet tall with vines three inches around encircling them, growing into his chain link fence, and climbing into nearby trees. It was clear we were going to have to enter into serious “warfare” with these plants if we didn’t want to have to be doing this all over again in another couple of months.

So we found our way to the other side of his fence near the creek bed, and brandishing chain saws clippers, hedgers and everything else we could lay our hands on, we proceeded to attempt to tame the beast. It took hours of sweat and back breaking hard work in ninety degree temperatures to get that jungle pulled back away from his fence and restore a semblance of order.

As I hacked and clipped and chainsawed my way through the mess, I realized that these monsters had started life as simply tame little shrubs and trees that someone had evidently planted to outline the back yard and provide landscaping. But years of neglect had allowed them to grow, spread out, and virtually take over. And now they in no way resembled what they were planned to be in the beginning.

Lesson to be learned: Do not neglect your life and allow things go get out of hand, even things that have been started with the best of intent!

Examples that easily come to mind;

  • Manage your debts before they start managing you.
  • Children must be reared with tremendous love and attention. According to Scripture, a child left to his own devices brings his mother to shame.
  • Another area that can get quickly out of control? A seed of bitterness that springs up in your life. Before long, it winds up in control of your thoughts and your emotions, and then proceeds to ruin your life.

Those bushes and trees are hacked back and are now under control, but it will take vigilance and care to make certain they remain that way. I think they are a perfect example of keeping your life and its issues under control.