I was out back this morning, busily weeding when Jim noticed something sticking out of a tree near our postage-stamp patio. In a minute he exclaimed, “Look at this little metal sun thing – half of it is Imbedded right into the trunk!”
“Yes,” I sighed, “and all I did was hang it from a nail on the tree trunk a few years ago. The oak swallowed it a little at a time, so that when I finally noticed what was happening, all my tugging couldn’t pull out.”
I loved that round-faced sun; its bright golden face greeted me every time I stepped out the back door, plus it handily held small garden spades and the like. Now its usefulness is gone.
Same thing happened with a metal pot hook I placed on a crepe myrtle limb – within a few months it became part of the tree. The bough would have to be broken to remove the intruder.
It occurred to me that habits can become infused into us in a similar way. We allow an action or attitude into our lives – good or bad – and go about our business, not really conscious of the unseen, gradual process taking place. That’s wonderful if the habit is a godly one; not so wonderful, however, when God is dishonored by the practice of it. In either case, we realize at some point with a shock that we’ve enveloped what we once only allowed. It’s entrenched! It’s almost become part of our DNA! If that awakening calls for mourning instead of rejoicing, take heart. The good news is that the Spirit can implant his fruit into us even more thoroughly and permanently than evil can ever infect and infest us! That’s not all; he can wage war on and root out the hooks in our souls when nothing or no one else can.
The only condition is that we yield completely.