Get the Shotgun, Ma. I’ve Got Yard Work to Do.

This is war. I’ll call in a company of mercenaries if I have to – whatever it takes to win. One thing I’m not willing to do is surrender to these little tyrants. I don’t care what it takes, I will defeat them, even if I have to blow them up one at a time.

I suppose that there are some folks who will say it’s a silly thing to be upset about. After all, it’s not like my front lawn is a golf green. If it weren’t for the weeds, there would be a lot of bare spots. Still, it’s the principle of the thing – we’re struggling over yard dominance, and I can’t afford to compromise.

What could possibly cause such strong emotions? What could possibly motivate someone like me to declare war? I can sum it up in one simple word – Dandelions.

I worked myself silly out there last Saturday. I mowed, I trimmed, and I edged. I raked, I nitpicked, and I finally had my front lawn looking almost civilized. It was a long, hot, sweaty job, but it was worth it – the front lawn looked better than I’d ever seen it. Then, Sunday morning arrived, and we stepped out our garage door on our way to church, intending to pause and admire my handiwork. Instead, I almost shrieked. There they were, peppering my lawn with their bright yellow blooms, extending a good four to six inches above the freshly mown lawn. They were everywhere, and they made my lawn look ragged and shabby, as though it hadn’t been mowed in weeks.

Where had they come from? Less than 24 hours earlier, I mowed everything down to a uniform height. Where did these blasted intruders come from, and how could I send them back? As I stood there and fumed, I came to realize why so many people surrender to Dandelions in their lawns, and just coexist with these short-lived flowers of spring. They had literally “sprung up overnight.”

As I thought it over, I realized that the Dandelion plants weren’t new additions to our lawn. They’ve been here a while, and were pretty well established. Even though I had mowed, these plants still had a strong hold on my lawn, with deep roots and stubborn disposition. The offending blooms were there the day before, but were low enough and immature enough that my mower had passed them by. Everything looked fine, but these fast-growing weeds did what fast-growing weeds do – they grew fast. As long as the Dandelion plants remain in the yard, the Dandelions will grow – it’s what they do. The only way to get rid of them is to literally rip them out, roots and all. Until I do that Dandelionectomy, they’ll keep trying to take over the yard. In time, they might even succeed.

But, it won’t be enough to dig up all the Dandelions in my yard. Even if I eliminate them all, my next door neighbor still has a bunch of them, and as long as he does, they’re going to provide seed to keep my lawn Dandelion infested, and they’ll spread faster than gossip in a church gathering.

Got any Dandelions in your life? You know what I mean – those nasty little habits and sins that seem to pop up at all the wrong times. They can even be as subtle as a bad attitude toward a person or situation. Most honest people have to admit to having a Dandelion or two. Like the ones in my yard, cutting them down won’t get rid of them – you have to dig them out by the roots. Also like the ones in my yard, they can spread from person to person, as we gripe and complain about things that didn’t go our way.

Another similarity between those personal Dandelions and the ones in my yard is that it’s easy to just give up and get used to them. In my yard, that would me a yard full of weeds instead of grass. In my heart, it’s pretty much the same thing.

The guy we bought our house from once tried a great new chemical that was supposed to kill Dandelions, and it did just that. It also killed the rest of the lawn, leaving behind nothing but barren mud. In our lawns, as in our hearts, the way to remove those unwanted weeds without killing anything else in the process, is to work on them one at a time, gently extracting them, and then trying to keep the Dandelion seeds from getting in and taking root.

It’s a lot of work, but you and I will have much nicer hearts if we take the time to get the weeds out. And our lawns will look better, too.

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