Monday, May 23, 2011

I'm in the Weeds!

For many years, I was a waitress. If you've ever been a waitress or a waiter you know it can be a really crazy job sometimes. There are times when every table is full, the pace is light speed, your heart is racing and the buzz of a busy Friday or Saturday night at the restaurant can make you feel like you are in over your head! When these times would come, we would say "I'm in the weeds!", which, translated means "I'm super busy and don't know if I can take any more!"

There's a story Jesus told about the wheat and the weeds in the Bible.  It's found in Matthew 13. In the parable, Jesus talks about the wheat and the weeds - the wheat representing the believers (Christians) and the weeds representing non-believers. The type of weed that is described in this parable is probably darnel, a type of weed that can hardly be distinguished from wheat until the head matures.  The workers of the field go to the farmer and say "Should we pull up the weeds?" and the farmer says, "No, let the weeds and wheat grow together until the harvest. If you pull the weeds, you will uproot some of the wheat." He goes on to say that the weeds will be "weeded out" by the harvesters during the harvest (which represents judgment) but until that time, let them grow together.

My pastor once pointed out that the farmer tells the workers to "let them grow together" since tearing them apart can be detrimental. The Bible is clear that we are to be in the world, just not of the world. We are told time and time again to love others, serve them and show them the love of Christ in our lives as we build relationships. Also, the weeds could represent people who claim to be believers but have no heart change. It's hard to know the difference sometimes! Only God can tell the difference most often. We will waste valuable time and energy if all we do is try to figure out who is genuine and who is not. God clearly tells us to leave that to Him. Our job is to love and serve others, not judge their motives.

All of this makes me think of my "in the weeds" waitressing days. Yeah, those busy days were very difficult at times. But they were also very invigorating and challenging. I was most laser-focused when I was in the weeds. I was most productive when I was in the weeds. It was a testing of my skills, too, and those days when I would come out of the weeds with victory, it really built my confidence. The days when I would fail, I would realize where I needed to grow more. I look back and realize that one of the things I miss most about my waitressing days is that invigorating feeling of being in the weeds!

Something else cool happens when we are in the weeds - we all end up helping one another more. My fellow servers would come alongside of me or I'd come alongside of them and offer help and encouragement during those crazy times. These times really helped us learn to lean on one another and realize that often we needed to ask for help - no one person can do it all.

Have you been in the weeds lately?

Colossians 4:5-6 Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.


Kendra said...

Wow! That said "insight" with a capital "N"!! I especially needed to hear the imperative to quit wasting time trying to figure out who's a weed and who's a wheat, like I have any say in the matter! (PTL I don't :) Thanks for channelling the Holy Spirit! Preesh!
PS Do you still get the dreams where you're waiting tables, and there's one you keep forgetting to get to....for like, HOURS....?

Leslie Nease said...

Haha...Kendra!! How did you know I had those dreams!? :) I appreciate your encouragement - you are so sweet. Thanks so much for your comment!

Kate said...

Cooks end up in the weeds, too. I remember those days. And hey, cooks also had dreams of being overwhelmed with orders and oh, did I hear the sound of another check coming through the machine in my sleep. I would get home from work at 11 after an 8 hour shift, go to sleep and work more in my dreams for 8 more hours, only to wake up and go back to work again in the morning. Working in restaurants is the true definition of FULL-TIME job. I imagine it's almost as crazy as the job of parenting.

Leslie Nease said...

I've never been a cook at a restaurant, but I can imagine how stressful it would be! You're right - it's a FULL time job in the restaurant business! Thanks, Kate. :)

Cindy said...

That's a good word! I've never been a waitress but I've been in my share of "weeds". Thanks for sharing that this morning.

Cindy said...

Good Word for today! I've never been a waitress but I've found myself in "weeds" before! Thanks for sharing this today. I needed it.

Leslie Nease said...

Thanks Cindy! :) I appreciate your comment!

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