Years ago, my neighbor planted wisteria along our shared fence row. At first I admired - I'm a sucker for a beautiful vine, you know that. Who wouldn't live to sniff those fragrant, purple blooms? What's not to adore about frondy foliage and clinging tendrils?
There's so much to despise about Chinese Wisteria!
This government agency wants you to know it.
WISTERIA IS AN ENEMY
My neighbor's wisteria grew, true to form, like a greedy monster. Within a few years, it choked the other beautiful heirloom plants that lined her side of the garden fence: her grandmother's roses, a dark-red and yellow honeysuckle, and an antique white lilac unlike any I'd ever seen. It's managed to dominate a tree and is currently riding high from the canopy, waving thin, triumphant arms like it just don't care.
I've worked hard to keep my neighbor's problem on her side of the fence. But if I don't maintain a ruthless cut and drag policy, I find the fronds strangling my own garden treasures. So I've occasionally 'slipped' and sprayed weed killer on a few wisteria plants that were creeping to my side. And when tiny, flexible wisteria seedlings sprout in other parts of our yard, I yank them out and make sure not a single root hair remains.
The same scenario plays out in my life - in every life!
I have the power of choice in what I allow to grow in my own 'garden'. Someone close to me may cultivate habits or tastes which are, according to scripture, not acceptable for God's children. Their choices may cause me to struggle, and as a result, I will have to do extra work to keep my own heart pure.
The ruin of my neighbor's prized garden is a cautionary tale which daily reminds me to
be vigilant and intentional in the disciplines of heart examination and repentance.
And I've become pretty handy with the garden shears, too.