"The seed falling among thorns refers to someone who hears the Word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the Word, making it unfruitful." Matthew 13:22...."Watering thorns: Who would do such a thing? Me." Alicia Britt Chole
In her excellent book, The Sacred Slow, Chole tells of the time she and her husband were walking about their Missouri property when she noticed a particular cluster of bushes. "Those are pretty," she told her mate. "Yes, but look at those thorns," was his reply. He warned her that they needed to keep an eye on those bushes, which they later discovered were called Honey Locusts.
Some time later, she called in a professional to look at a tree that was struggling, and he noticed the Honey Locusts around it, and advised her to get rid of them, which she intended to do, but didn't. What she discovered to her deep regret was that these trees grew everywhere and at a remarkable rate. Soon, their property was marked everywhere by clusters of these trees, and their thorns made going anywhere near them a real threat to one's well-being. She said, "It is sobering to know that I contributed to their infestation. I nurtured the thorn trees by omission. When I first saw them, I decided to do nothing. And doing nothing is a choice."
Thorns grow into our lives and hearts in every kind of way and in every kind of type. Besides the very real outward kind that come through temptations, attractions, and misguided focus, there are the even more deadly ones that reside in the mind and in the heart. When we choose to allow them to stay there, to linger and grow, we are in effect, watering them, nurturing them, and increasing their power in and over our lives. We do nothing, and as Chole says, nothing is a choice.
What are the thorns you and I water? What kind of thoughts, attitudes, mind-poisons have we allowed to go on unchecked in our lives that choke out the Life of Christ? What self-destructive thoughts and actions that on the surface may seem minor, but in reality are killing His Life within us, do we water and give growth to? Many of us give attention to the obvious outer thorn varieties, they're a lot easier to identify and deal with. It's the inner thorns, the ones that nobody else sees that lay down deeper roots, and ever sharper points. We continue to minimize them and they continue to grow, until it is impossible to maneuver through our thought life without sustaining cuts and bruises from our thorns. And giving them to those around us too. Their power continues to grow, and "land" that is to be filled with His Life is now controlled by thorns that can only bring death. And they just keep spreading and growing as we continue to water and nurture them.
It seems most of us learn to make peace with our thorns. Like in Chole's yard, they find a home, take root, and are a constant problem, but they live on. And His Life within us is smothered. We speak of living abundantly, but aren't really experiencing it at all. Outer distractions and inner obstructions go on....and grow....and choke out His Life....and our hope of experiencing it in all of its fullness.....Watering thorns. Who would do such a thing? You do. I do.