Prickly Things

During springtime, fall and winter, I would trek back into our house as a kid, my clothes adorning what I called brown prickly things. I soon discovered they were cockleburs, and no matter how hard I attempted to avoid them, I always seemed to bring in a few.

Cockleburs, for those who have yet to discover the lovely little prickly weed plant, are widely spread due to their ability to attach their brown burs to whatever comes into contact. So, whenever you or an animal rubs against the plant’s ripe burs they latch on with their many hooked spines and hitch a ride to a new destination in hopes that they will find a place to be planted wherever they land. Thus, they spread their seed to a new place.

In some ways, those little burs are similar to little burs in life. Sometimes the prickly things can come from other people, rubbing off onto us. Sometimes we’re the plant supplying the burs to other people. And the seeds find a place to plant themselves, eventually taking root and spreading again.

And while sometimes like childhood, we take them off before we go inside our home, other times we forget and bring them in  with us or maybe we haven’t even examined ourselves to see if they are attached. We need to daily remember to examine our hearts and minds, pulling those prickly things off on the outside before we carry them in and let them take root in our lives. Once they do, our prickly burs may stick to others, who may give the seed a place to grow, too.

“For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”  -Luke 6:43-45

Once the weed takes root…it can grow and flourish. Scary thought for the prickly things. Good thought for those sweet things, though. Just like Luke says, a good tree will bear good fruit. There is hope for those who daily pull those prickly seeds off themselves. And Jesus even shared a parable about weedy seeds sown in fields, bringing across how serious it really is to be of good seed.

“Then He (Jesus) left the crowds and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him and said, ‘Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.’ And He said, ‘The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one; and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels. So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as thee sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.'” -Matthew 13:36-43

Jesus says that the good seed is sown by the Son of Man. So how do we remain a good seed, and avoid those cockleburs from becoming planted seeds in our hearts? We need to go to the Lord, to Jesus, asking Him to clean us of those prickly things.

Some things in life are just prickly. And unfortunately they stick to us. Don’t let them take root. Go to Jesus daily.

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