Getting Rid of the Bamboo and the Bad


I had to dig up some bamboo that had taken over an area near our daughter’s house; the stalks were over six feet tall! I imagined a couple of years earlier when a small root of bamboo had been planted there, undoubtedly an easy process of digging a small hole, sticking in the sprig of bamboo, filling in the hole, giving it a bit of water, and, tada, it was done.

Bamboo is an invasive plant and will take over an area, as it had the corner of this garden. The roots were big, and deep. It took a lot of digging and prying with a long iron rod to remove the bamboo. Planting bamboo is a much easier process than getting rid of it!

I reflected afterward that bamboo is similar to the bad habits we allow to develop in our lives; they’re much easier to start than they are to stop! This is true of the well-known addictions of smoking, alcohol, drug abuse, and pornography. But it’s also true of the bad habits of negative thinking, judgmental thinking, critical talk, over-spending, procrastination, ignoring God, and many others you and I could list.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.”

It’s easier to quit a bad habit or addiction early on rather than later. The tough time I had digging up the bamboo reminded me of this great truth!

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)


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