Rusty’s Corner: What is a weed anyway?

Several years ago, we planted a beautiful Elm tree in our yard that would grow up to provide great shade for our backyard.

The challenge is that this tree puts out a lot of seeds and volunteer trees pop up throughout our landscape. I am not exaggerating to say that every time I work in the yard, I find several tiny elm trees in random places. It's a shame that they don't appear in an appealing location, because I know they come from good stock and I would love to have another tree of that caliber. But invariably, they sprout in a rose, or next to my foundation, or any other spot where they shouldn't be.

Years ago, I was told that the definition of a weed is "anything growing where you don't want it." At the time I struggled with that. Could Zoysia grass, an Azalea, or even an Elm Tree be considered a weed? The truth is, yes - no matter how admirable the plant. If something is growing in the wrong place, it's a "weed."

The unplanned Elm tree steals attention, sunlight, nutrients, and water from the plant that is meant to grow in that location - hence, it is a weed and needs to be removed.

Before having a family, I loved scuba diving. It was fun being out in the ocean enjoying God's underwater creation. It also was time-consuming and expensive due to the long boat ride, equipment, and training. When examining that hobby in light of my family vacation's priorities, it was evident that it was a weed; a fun and appealing weed - but still a weed that was stealing time and resources from the priority - my family.

It wasn't that scuba diving is toxic or bad. It just isn't the priority on vacations anymore. Who knows if the future holds vacations that involve scuba diving with my family, but for now, it's a weed, and had to be removed. 

The challenge with any weed is always to identify them early and get them out of the way. Maybe your "weeds" are tasks you take on at work that seem urgent, but aren't a priority. Maybe they're hobbies that are fun but don't contribute to your larger goals. Maybe it's even a person in your life that is taking away constructive time and energy. Whatever the weeds in your life are, identify them and get them out.

The definition of a weed truly is "anything growing where you don't want it."
What's growing in your life where you don't want it?

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