By Chaplain (Capt.) James G. Burke, 2nd Battalion, 58th Infantry RegimentMarch 25, 2018
FORT BENNING, Ga. (March 25, 2018) -- One of my favorite things to do this time of year is to mow the lawn. It is strangely therapeutic. Nevertheless, if you are like me living on post, there is not much of a lawn to mow, but there are certainly plenty of weeds to pull!
I can remember as a 12-year-old boy, pushing my old "Snapper" lawnmower up and down the street in an effort to start my own lawn business with my 10-year-old brother. "Burke Brothers' Lawn Care," was our name, and "You grow it; We mow it," was our motto. Business in the 1990s was booming at $20 bucks a lawn, and there was always repeat business because the weeds and grass kept right on growing.
Nobody likes weeds. Weeds are adaptable, and if you are not careful to pull them up from the root, they will always come back. Look out your window. The weeds you pulled last year are growing again, and unless you implement a plan to stop them, they will take over.
My plan one day was to get my 5-year-old son Nathan to start pulling weeds with me. But after no more than two minutes of pulling, Nathan had already given up and run off. In the same way that the weeds in our yard come back year after year, there are often a myriad pitfalls in our lives that seek to slowly choke out the areas of our lives that we want to grow and flourish.
Anxiety, fear of man, fear of failure, hopelessness, anger, control, or even a constant desire to be entertained might be some areas in your life that distract you from growing in your relationship with your spouse, kids, fellow Soldiers, and most importantly, God.
Psalm 103 reminds us when we are overwhelmed by the stress, worry and "weeds" of the world that we need to look to God to strengthen and sustain us, and to forgive our sins: "The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love. He will not always rebuke, nor will he keep his anger forever … for as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him."
Remember these promises when the weeds of life are overwhelming. You are never alone in your struggles. God is on your side. When the weeds start growing in the spring, remember that Easter is just around the corner. It is a reminder to each of us that God is near, that God forgives, and that God triumphs over sin and death. I encourage you not to give up but instead to stand firm in the faith and find someone to share the weight of those struggles alongside you.
Join us at Fort Benning this April 1, Easter Sunday, at Doughboy Stadium at 9:30 a.m. as we celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of our risen Savior.