Thursday, April 14, 2011


     My girls and I had the opportunity to participate in a Metroparks volunteer effort to help eradicate the invasive garlic mustard plant. Populations of garlic mustard can spread rapidly, advancing an average of 20 feet per year. Each plant produces anywhere from 350 to 7,900 seeds. If left unchecked, the garlic mustard plant will crowd out the native plants that we enjoy seeing on our hikes.

     We arrived early,  fitted our hands with the bright blue nitrile gloves, grabbed some black trash bags, and set off with the others to get to work. The first area we passed through was very manageable, with a smattering of plants here and there that were easy enough to eliminate. This had been an area of focus last year, and it was encouraging to see the dwindling numbers of garlic mustard. My daughter began jubilantly pulling the plants and saying, "You thought you had won, but WE defeated you!" It was quite cute.

     We moved further down the trail and our eyes were met with green as far as we could see. Not green from trees, grass, or wildflowers. It was a sea of garlic mustard. It was everywhere! We sat our bag down and purposed to get to work on it. Little by little, we began clearing out our area. It started to feel like we were actually making a difference. But then we'd look up and it'd be the same sea of green for as far as we could see. Ugh! It was quite discouraging.

     As we pulled, I shared how garlic mustard is like sin. Sin has an ever increasing nature that we must go to war against daily. If we are not vigilant in pulling it, root and all, from our lives, it will spread and take over. I don't want my heart to be overrun by things that are not of God. Sin is never content to stay small! It will always begin to take over and crowd out those things that are pleasing to my Lord.

     Heavenly Father, I thank you for speaking to me today through the garlic mustard plant. Lord, You know that I want to glorify You with my life. Help me to be quick to identify areas of sin in my life so that I can pull them out before they grow and try to take over. Even as I write this, I can think of a few strongholds in my life that need to be uprooted. I humbly ask for your help with that, too. I pray that, through the power of the Holy Spirit, I may keep my heart cleaned of the sin that so easily spreads. By doing this, I know that I will have more room for the things that You desire to see abound in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. In the precious name of Jesus I pray, Amen.