Mind Garden

At the beginning of garden planting season this year, I had to first dig up and get rid of a plant I’d welcomed into the garden 5 years before- a blackberry bush.

It had given us increasing fruit for each of 4 years, but I started to notice problems in year 5.  The vegetables near it weren’t thriving or fruiting as much as usual and new blackberry sprouts were popping up 10-15 feet from the bush (seemingly out of nowhere) where other veggies were trying to grow.  Of course, the new sprouts weren’t coming from nowhere!  They’d come from an extensive root network that was growing well below the surface.  Looking it up, I discovered it was an invasive species that spreads aggressively, chokes out other plants, and is hard to get rid of.  Great news!

So, if I wanted to grow more than just blackberries, I’d have to get digging!  It was truly amazing how deep and spread out the roots went and how difficult they were to dig up.  My neighbors thought I was digging my own grave!  It felt like it at times!

Today, many different veggies are thriving and only a few root-remnants trying to re-sprout.  So the blackberry doesn’t get a foothold in my garden again, I stay vigilant for them.  I dig up shoots before they get much sun and send energy back to the roots.  Soon, they will cease to be a threat!

Our minds can be like my garden…  Capable of hosting and producing a variety of innovativeconstructive, and supportive ideas and behaviors that benefit others thru the relationships and responsibilities entrusted to us!  Our minds can also unwittingly invite in and fall under the tyranny of invasive, obsessiveself-indulgent, and destructive thinking that steals “nutrients” essential for joypeacedignitycompassion, and flourishing. Let’s free up the gardens of our minds & hearts, guided by Jesus! 

Rejoice in the Lord and let your gentleness be evident to everyone!
Rather than be anxious about anything, talk to God about everything-
releasing God’s peace to guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus!
Focus your mind on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, 
admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy! 
Be learners and doers of Jesus and his ways!            -Philippians 4:4-9