Fall came late and lovely to Central Georgia. As much as possible, I am spending time in the wooded area behind our house.
First I am seeking to deliver on a promised tree house before my daughters go off to college. And, second, I am simply mesmerized by the splendid array of color, especially from the maple trees.
For three and a half years, I have been slowly but surely thinning out the area and removing invasive plants that threaten the natural habitat.
Non-native plants, I learned from reading and talks with a neighbor on the same mission, threaten the species that have have long made their home in this area. So I have been eliminating them — mimosas, English ivy and Chinese privets — along with the ever-undesirable poison oak and ivy.
Other unwelcome, invasive plants include kudzu, Chinese wisteria and the fast-reproducing tallow trees that experts blame on Ben Franklin for sending seeds to Georgia in 1772.
Early on in my quest, I noticed several small dogwoods and red maples were being crowded out of the landscape and competing for sunlight and nutrients. So I began pulling, cutting and spraying for their freedom.
The results of this fall season have more than rewarded me for my labor.
Of course, there is a broader application to life here. For we tend to allow lesser things to invade and grow in our lives at the expense of better things.
In a recent issue of Christian Century, Barbara Brown Taylor said: “Learning to say no is how we clear space for a few carefully planted yeses to grow. Saying no to lesser gods is part of saying yes to God.”
I’ll let each of you take the sermon, lesson, application from here.
Executive editor / publisher at Good Faith Media.