Monday, April 23, 2007

Grass Burrs: How Close is too Close

Here is the first of my lessons. It is the condensed version I will use in class.
I wanted to test it out on you. Sorry it is so long.

Burning the trash was a routine chore at our home. Living in the country meant no trash pick up and burn piles a little distance from the house. That responsibility fell on me most of the time because my children were too young and my husband too busy. I never resented the chore but some days it took a number of trips to get all of the trash out to the burn pile.

Although grass had been planted around the house it still had not grown in completely and weeds grew between the clumps of grass. Just beyond the grass in the yard the most prevalent crop growing was that of grass burrs. Even the youngest in the family knew how painful it was to step on the grass burrs. All had been warned to put on shoes before going outside to play.

Although we worked aggressively to extinguish the offensive weeds grass burrs continued to creep in among the grass especially toward the edge of the yard. At first the green blades looked harmless and uprooting the aggressive plants could be postponed until a later day when I was wearing the proper shoes or gardening gloves but in a coming days the seeds formed undetected, dried and dropped their seeds into the moist soil, sprouted and began to grow for the cycle to begin again.

After a day's work cleaning I was hot and tired. The trash had been piled by the back door until I finished cleaning and could carry the trash out to the burn pile. I had pulled off my shoes and now I was barefoot and wanted to finish up quickly before beginning supper. I decided that I could walk carefully out to the trash pile and watch for the grass burrs thus avoiding their painful barbs. Arms loaded with the trash I stepped out into the yard and walked out past the grass. Slowly dragging my feet carefully like my sister had taught me when we were children, I was pleased with every step I took successfully landing on safe ground. Just a few yards from my goal the first barb pierced my foot and as I winced and jerked in pain, another barb pierced my foot. Jerking again, trying now to balance myself with my arms full of trash and grass burrs in my feet I carelessly stepped outward finding more grass burrs that stung and pierced yet again. I looked around at where I stood and found that the grass burrs like sin surrounded me on all sides. There was no place to go but back to the safety of the yard like back into the arms of the Father.

How had I gotten here?

Looking now across to the grassy area several yards back I would never have ventured out into this unsafe territory unprotected had I known where I would end. Returning was a difficult but not an impossible journey. Everywhere I stepped landed in the painful barbs. I could not seem to right my wrong until finally I dropped the trash, picked out the grass burs and made my way back to the grassy yard.

Sadly this is the attitude we have toward temptation and sin. Pride lulls us in with a false sense of security and confidence in our ability to overcome evil. We place ourselves in sinful situations but justify that we are not acting in a sinful nature. We get as close as we can and ask ourselves, “How close to sin can I get without being affected by it?”

The society we live in has become desensitized to offensive language and violence and seemingly has lost their sense of morality. Although we may not be using the offensive language or engaging in immoral activities the seed planted in our brains, given the proper conditions will sprout and begin to emerge.

We are lulled into a false security that we can walk amidst temptation and never fall prey to it. We dine with the devil but think we will not befriend him. But more times than not we find that we are reeled in slowly like the devil’s catch for the day.


  1. I want to be in your class! What are you teaching? Wonderful analogy!

  2. If you go to my archives back to november the 8th, 2006, read it and tell me that great minds don't think alike!
    kinda spooky.

  3. Oh, how strange. We must be thinking alike.

    I have used this analogy since my kids were little. I suppose it had to do with horses for you.