A few years back, my father gave us some small Korean perilla plants. They are leaves that is common in most Korean cuisines. They have this beautiful minty aroma and quite delicious to eat with Korean barbeque. Not too difficult to cultivate, which is perfect for us since we are quite novice when it comes to taking care of plant life.
Each year they grew, and we ate the harvest. Every year they would pollinate and basically became self-sustainable. However, in this year, didn’t see them sprout. So, we thought because of the weather, heat, or soil condition in our pots, made them unable to flourish. The weeds really took over our pots, and we just let them grow. We thought we lost our harvest for good.
But too my surprise, after leaving it unattended to for the duration of spring and summer, and letting enormous weeds grow in those pots, I found out that they survived and thrived. Thanks to Ben wanting to play with worms outside, I looked into the pots and realized that the Korean perilla plant was growing among the thorny weeds. I was shocked because some of those plants really grew into full maturity and hopefully in late fall and winter, they will produce flowers and seeds once again.
It’s amazing to think that these plants were able to flourish in such harsh conditions. Surrounded by weeds, and unattended needs to grow well, these Korean perilla plants grew.
This reminds me of the passage in Matthew 13:24-30, the parable of the weeds. Jesus tells the disciples that a gardener came to plant the seeds but at night an enemy came in and spread weeds among the good seeds. When the good seeds started to grow, it grew among the weeds. The gardener’s workers asked if they should pull out the weeds, and the gardener urges the workers not to do so because it may uproot the good plants. The gardener instructs the workers to allow both the weeds and good plant grow together until it was time for the harvest. At harvest time, take the good plants that produced and pull out the weeds and burn them in the fire.
When I look at this story and look at these Korean perilla plants it makes me reflect on life in general. Sometimes we aren’t always put in the best circumstances in life. And sometimes we are put fail to live up the expectations of the Gospel of taking care of one another with grace, kindness, love, and care. I know this for myself, that sometimes I always wish that I was a better leader in the church or a better father to my children, or a better husband to my wife. But this passage in Matthew and the situation of the Korean perilla plants reminds me of always having hope. No matter what happens, things will always work out in the end.
Do you feel that you failed to live up to certain expectations of life's demands? Maybe you might feel like the workers or gardener in Matthew 13:24-30. And maybe you feel guilty for leaving all those thorns and weeds and feel that you didn’t take care of your corner of the world well. But remember, God’s got this. Nothing is necessarily left for chance or luck. It is only by God’s grace that allow things to work out in the end, regardless of your efforts. Maybe you feel like the good plants that find yourself surrounded by weeds. Again, weeds happen in life. Nobody’s life is perfect and not every situation to come across will be calm and peaceful. Sure, I order to survive, you may have to compete or fight your way through the weeds given in your life, but that’s ok. Again, stand firm, keep trying, stay true to yourself, and have faith in a God that will pull you out of every situation.
So, my garden in the backyard is alive. It doesn’t look perfect, but that’s life right? God bless you all.
Hey this is Rev. Brian Choi's random thought throughout my week. Most of this stuff, will probably be about family, church, fishing, music, movies, food, whatever I think of, hopefully it will have some sort of theological reflection (maybe).