As I was weeding our strawberry bed, I came upon the dreaded area where the thistles had taken over. I grabbed some gloves and got to work only to become frustrated minutes later with my progress. Everyone knows that in order to keep a thistle from coming back you must take out the root right? So that is what I tried to do, but pretty much in vain. Some came out with a foot of root while others would just snap at ground level. Eventually I gave up trying to get the root out and just let ‘em all snap above ground. I just wanted to be done.
But within a few weeks I was heading back out to weed the same strawberry bed with the same old thistle plants. But I was shocked with what I found. Each big thistle plant that had snapped off above the ground had multiplied! There wasn’t just one shoot coming from the root, but multiple. I didn’t know plants could even do that. The problem was now magnified as it’s almost impossible to pull some of the root out once this happens.
As I continued weeding the strawberry bed that afternoon, my thoughts turned to, well, my thoughts. I started to realize that these weeds were just like the negative or sinful thoughts in my mind. Have you ever noticed as you’re running along with less than ideal conditions how negative thoughts start popping in your mind? Have you ever realized that if you dwell on those thoughts or try to deny them that they actually get worse?
I am like the typical runner who loves to run in ideal conditions and I’m sure you are too. You know, those days where the weather is perfect, your body feels great, and you are nailing the workout better than you hoped. Yeah those are the good ole days. But what happens when that first thought comes during the common, not ideal, running days? What do you do with them?
I’ve come to realize that these negative thoughts have a root and much like the thistle plants, they run deep. Luke 6:45 says, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”
The only problem is that a lot of times when wrong thoughts come we try and break it off at ground level. We try to deny it or not think of it, but in reality think about this:
What are you thinking about when you are trying to not think about that negative thought? Are you not still thinking about the negativity?
Don’t get me wrong, it is nearly impossible to rip a thistles full root out of the ground. At minimum they grow 6 feet down, so unless you are prepared to dig up the root and destroy your lawn, that whole thing ain’t comin out. And imagine if there were hundreds of plants?!
I have dealt with wrong thoughts my entire life. And I’ve always dwelt on them. I didn’t know any better. And had you told me what negative effect those weeds were going to cause me down the road I probably would have started looking for a solution, and fast. Because when those purple flowers open on top of those thistles and start blowing around, you are never going to keep them all from taking root and then your problems will be multiplied ever more.
In this months podcast episode I share a little more in depth about the thistle plant and what God has been showing me I can do to rip up the dreaded weeds and keep others from growing. I have a long way to go in cultivating the ground of my mind, but I am beginning to see progress. So I want to share with you what I have been doing in hopes that you may be encouraged to start taking action to begin changing your future before it gets here.
Remember, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (See Galatians 6)
Ep. #21 The Top Three Frustrations of a Runner and What to do About Them – Be Still And Run by Alli Anne
Facts about the thistle Plant:
- The prickles protect the plant from being eaten.
- The dryer the conditions, the spinier they are. (pricklier, rougher, ragged, not smooth but irregular or uneven)
- Completely eliminating thistle can take several years. You cannot get rid of thistle overnight. (Roots can grow up to six feet long.)
- Each plant can hold up to 120,000 seeds PER flower.
- It is one of the most persistent and stubborn plants.
- It spreads through the air thus it does so quickly.
- Hand pulling the young plants is your first best option before they are able to lay down a lot of roots.
- If any of the root is left, without killing it, it will still grow back.
- Wet the soil first to make pulling the plants up much more effective.
- Using vinegar is your best option for larger plants where the root has already taken a hold. But it is still not overnight. You will have to spray it once a week until it completely dries out the plant.
- Be sure if you use the vinegar you do not spray plants you want to keep, it will kill them too.
- Beware of letting the plants get so big that they can produce more seeds.
- To my surprise and horror, thistles love good soil, sun, moist but well drained soil!! But they are also medicinal and an important source for nectar! So even something that God created as a curse because of sin, He turned it to good!
Scripture References Mentioned In the Podcast:
- Take your thoughts captive. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
- Cast all your care upon Jesus. (1 Peter 5:7)
- Be careful for nothing, pray about everything. (Philippians 4:6-7)
- Jesus gives us a well of living water springing up in our heart. (John 4:14)
- Parable of the Soil and the Parable of the Tares. (Matthew 13)
- Ask what you will. (John 15:7)
- The simplicity in Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3)