There’s something creepy that ought to creep us out. It’s worse than snakes, spiders or other creepy-crawlers. And it’s creeping up on you and me as we speak. (Is your skin itching yet?)
“The thorny ground represents the hearts of people who listen to the Good News and receive it, but all too quickly the attractions of this world and the delights of wealth, and the search for success and lure of nice things come [creep] in and crowd out God’s message from their hearts” (Mark 4:18-19, TLB).
Clearing the Creep
My wife and I spent countless back-breaking hours over several months clearing our property in the mountains. We removed the choking vines, creeping weeds, and dead trees. The result was gorgeous. The remaining forest, with a clean bed of pine needles and the sun beaming through, looked like a scene from Robin Hood and Sherwood Forest.
Then time set in. We returned home to our normal routine.
After a few months, we went back to see our beautiful forest. Imagine our disappointment to find weeds had overgrown it. New creeping vines reached for trees to encircle and choke. What once was pristine, now looked disregarded.
The creep of the world is real and the human heart craves the creep. The creep is subtle and almost unnoticeable. Deserts slowly invade previously fertile areas. Water gradually erodes beaches and even rocks. In the world of project management, a subtle phenomenon called “scope creep” happens if not guarded against. This happens when additional work, even though minor, is continually added to the overall project. Unknowingly, the scope of work creeps beyond the approved funding.
Unchecked, unchallenged “weeds” will take over whatever area is available and unguarded. Without constant weeding, a garden is soon overgrown. Even seemingly small and innocuous weeds will run rampant. That is the nature of weeds. It doesn’t take much for them to dominate the landscape. Farmers know that if they don’t constantly apply weed-killing measures, they will soon lose their crops. Weeds know no boundaries. The apostle Paul said, “A little leaven leaven’s the whole lump” (Galatians 5:9).
Avoiding the Creep
Just as a garden needs constant attention and weeding to make room for healthy fruits and vegetables, so weeding out the complicated, the hurried, the worldly “stuff” of life prepares us for a healthy pursuit of Christ. Whatever priority, obligation, or “opportunity” seduces us away from time, meditation, and devotion to Christ, let’s recognize it for what it is – the attempt to steal our passion, kill our joy, and destroy our spiritual lives.
How do we “weed” our spiritual gardens? First, by introspection and illumination by Gods Word and His Holy Spirit. Second, by willfully and quickly repenting and relinquishing anything God reveals as a rival (weed). Third, by using spiritual weed killer. After submitting yourself to God. “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” It takes intentional effort and disciplined work to maintain a creep-free spiritual life.
Let’s guard our hearts and minds from the world’s creep. Uncluttering our hearts, minds, and lives lessens the effect of worldly distractions and energizes a deeper intimacy with God and intentional journey toward Christlikeness.