Memorial United Methodist Church
Sunday, May 31, 2020
God's Love Grows Here!

 The Vines in Our Lives

 

 

 

A couple of Christmas’ ago Dennis was given a tool he lovingly calls “The Man-Eater.”  This device is a combination of a chain saw, bush hog, and weed-whacker on steroids.  It is quite a tool and can take down acres of brush and small trees.  We live on the part of his family’s historic farm that has not been farmed for decades.  Using this tool, Dennis continues to eat away at clearing years of undergrowth. 

 

After the removal of 50+ years of vegetation down the hill behind the old horse barn, this spring brought to view a flowering tree.  Seeing the limbs of the tree in full bloom was a welcomed surprise.  In all the years of visiting the homeplace and even after moving here, the tree remained hidden behind a screen of undergrowth and wild blackberry bushes.  It came into view only after clearing away the  scrub growth.  With the blooming limbs as a guide, we cleaned away the remaining foliage to create a path to the tree.  What we found was not one tree but two peach trees.     

The trees were in full bloom.  The ground around the trees was littered with peach pits.  Evidence of years of productivity.  However, amazingly, the trees stood mangled and broken, with large parts of the top of the trees ripped off and hanging down almost to the ground.  The tree trunks are large and firm, so what caused the top of the trees to be torn from the supporting tree trucks?

Growing from the ground and wrapped around the limbs were the smallest of vines.  The individual vines were no bigger than kitchen twine.  With the least amount of effort, the vines were pulled from the trees.  However, these little green strings had reached up the mighty tree, wrapping around the limbs, and grasping to the reach the treetops drawn by the desire to reach the sunlight.  At the top, the vines, individually still only the diameter of a thread, robbed the trees of much need sunlight and crumbled the treetops.  Their weight twisted, split, and severely damaged the otherwise healthy trees.  

Is there a reason to tell you this?  Yes, to ask the question, how often do we let small vines grow in our hearts, thinking they are not that important?  It is just an insignificant hurt; it is no big deal.  Without realizing, the tiny wound, we just ignore, continues to grow.  We overlook it because we are much bigger than it is.  And, look, we are still blooming and growing, we are still producing fruit.  All the while, this vine is multiplying, creating more vines, entangling around, through what we think is our healthy lives.  We may not see the pending destruction — until it is too late.

The good news.  God gives us tools to help overcome these destructive vines.  His word is replete with help on dealing with deadly vines that creep into our daily lives. 

CR is based on the advice given to us in the Bible.  At CR, you will find support from friends who also struggle with removing the vines (we call them hurts, hang-ups, and harmful habits) that entangle our lives.  If you would like to know more about CR and our version of a weed killer, please call us.  We would love to talk with you and tell you about our next meeting!    

 

 If you’d like to learn more about C/R, we’d love to talk with you.  

   Dennis Gowin 434-808-2426 or Cheryl Gowin 434-808-2637