I spent all yesterday cleaning my sons’ rooms.
At one point, I heard myself shout loudly “Boys, I’ve never seen rooms so messy….” but I finished the statement more softly “… since my own room when I was your age!” At least I know where they get it from.
All day long I weeded out clothes they had outgrown and pieces of broken toys and board books they no longer read. I vacuumed and swept and took a soft cloth and some orange furniture spray and freshened all the surfaces. In the end, I kept only what was needed and discarded what got in the way.
Honestly, I thought they’d be mad when they saw what I had done. I mean after all I destroyed their “collections” of paper pieces and cardboard boxes and unidentifiable things. I thought that they’d be mad that I weeded out their “treasures.”
And in some ways they aren’t exactly happy. In fact, as I write this they are wandering around the house discovering what’s here and what’s not. But for the most part, I think they feel what I do – renewed. After all they’ve been swimming in the mess for quite awhile now.
As I started to clean today, I also started to criticize myself – “Why didn’t you do this sooner?” I asked. “Why’d you let it get so bad?” I admonished.
But in the end, I realized that until today – I just wasn’t ready yet. All the pieces had not yet fallen into place. And that was okay. After all, a true harvest takes time and patience.
Today’s Gospel speaks of the sower again – but this time the enemy has come and sowed weeds among the wheat. When his servants ask if they should take out all the weeds right away, the sower invites them to wait. He explains that if they wait until the harvest, they won’t risk pulling up the wheat with the weeds. In other words, they won’t risk taking out the good with the bad.
I know you want to solve a whole lot of things right now. You have questions and you want to harvest the answers as soon as possible. You want the weeds of a pandemic and school choices and an unjust society to be pulled now so you can see all the beautiful wheat shining unencumbered in the sun.
But maybe if we slow down a little bit and tend the wheat among the weeds… harvest time WILL come and we will be ready and able to say “It was worth the wait!”