By Leonard Lauriault
Have you noticed there are many more non-grass plants than there used to be along our roadways? Some of these species are invasive (also called noxious because they’re so harmful to the environment and society) and have moved from the roadways into agricultural, recreational, and even wildland areas, reducing the value of our natural resources and the productive capacity and economic value of the land.
Several groups and individuals are working together in Quay County to form a Cooperative Weed Management Area (CWMA). You also may recognize the need to stop any further spread of weeds and even if you feel there’s not much you can do, contact our County Cooperative Extension Service office (461-0562) to learn how you can help fight the growing weed problem.
While listening to a presentation during a recent organizational meeting for Quay’s CWMA, I realized there are many similarities between demons and invasive weeds. Although it’s debatable whether or not demons are still active today, much of what the Bible says about demons applies to the sins that so easily entangle us (Hebrews 12: 1). Invasive weeds are definitely active.
First, invasive weeds sneak up on us as a problem. There’s often a lag time between introduction (when the species first comes into an area) and detection (when experts first realize there’s a problem) during which that first plant’s offspring become adapted to the area (yes, microevolution does occur as a matter of adaptability, but it’s still the same species).
Once adapted, most weed species produce a lot of seeds. Consequently, invasion becomes rapid at which time the general public recognizes the problem; by then, it’s so out of hand little can be done.
When you see a plant you haven’t seen in our area before (not counting ornamentals, but do be careful what you plant in your yard), make a note of where it is and look for it elsewhere throughout the county. If you don’t see it much, call the County Cooperative Extension Service to let them know. When you’re tempted to do that little sin that doesn’t seem so harmful, resist the temptation because every little sin we do makes the next sin easier (Hebrews 3: 12-14; 2 Peter 2: 20).
While we only have a handful or so of invasive weeds in Quay County, our state and the surrounding states have listed about 50 invasive weeds. That’s not so many that one couldn’t learn to identify each one. A weed is a plant out of place — while they may be desirable in some places, when they’re growing where you don’t want them, they become a weed and stick out like a sore thumb.
Sin, on the other hand, are Legion and diverse but also recognizable (Mark 5: 9; Romans 4: 15; 1 John 3: 4; Galatians 5: 19-21). Still, while we view some sins as easily recognizable and terrible, others may not be as recognizable to us at all as being sin. But God has defined them as sin and only a thorough study of his word will help us distinguish the difference. Personal Bible study is well worth the effort in protecting the resource of our salvation as we learn Satan’s schemes because sin is never desirable (2 Corinthians 2: 11; Ephesians 6: 10-18; Hebrews 5: 1-14; 2 Peter 3: 17, 18).
Having identified a plant as a weed problem, eradication is the next step. But where weeds are removed, or have died, we must be careful because other equally or more undesirable plants will come in to occupy the space. To prevent that we need to plant competitive desirable species in that space and do whatever it takes to promote their establishment.
Once we distinguish sin from righteousness, we’ll also likely realize more of the sin in our lives and hopefully acquire the desire to rid ourselves of them. If we don’t replace the demons of sin in our lives with the desirable fruit of the Spirit, we leave space open to invasion by other acts of the sinful nature (Galatians 5: 22-25; Colossians 3: 1-17; Philippians 4: 8, 9; Matthew 12: 43-45).
Sin is on the increase everywhere — even in our community. Jesus said that would happen (Matthew 24: 12; 2 Timothy 3: 1-5, 13). Turn to God and his word for strength against this foe keeping an eye out and working diligently to slow its progress in our community (Luke 22: 39-43; Matthew 26: 41; 6: 9-13).
If you want to join the battle against the spread of weeds in Quay County, call our Cooperative Extension Service office and ask for Tom (461-0562).