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Jesus described another kind of soil which is filled with weeds and thistles and torpedo grass and other kinds of things. When Giovanna and I moved into our house, it had been vacant for a year. It’s built in an old flood plain of Lake Pontchartrain, which means that swamp grass or torpedo grass was prevalent there. That torpedo grass had grown unimpeded for 12 months and so every afternoon after work, I would get out and do a couple of hours of weeding. Some six months later, I had pulled out 120 fifty gallon trash bags of torpedo grass and nearly broken back.

In addition, the torpedo grass had choked the life out of 40% of the landscaping. I asked a landscaping store what I could spray on my beds to kill the grass and the only thing that works is Roundup. The problem is that Roundup kills everything it touches and would have killed the rest of the landscaping. But here’s the thing: 12 years later, I am still fighting torpedo grass in my landscaping.

What that experience taught me through this parable is that there are always weeds we have to fight from taking root in our lives. Second, the soil in which the good things like my bushes and trees and flowers flourish is the very same environment that weeds flourish in. Third, that flood plain which is now my neighborhood is the natural habitat of the torpedo grass and what I’m doing is trying to introduce something new to that environment. That’s what we do when we try to introduce the Gospel into our already existing lives. It can’t thrive there because it gets choked out by the cares and desires of the world.

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