Sorry, folks, I didn't make it evening service tonight. If it helps, it's because we were in my second-favourite church: outside.
More specifically, Brandon, Graeme and I were working in the garden, digging up witchgrass using out anniversary presents from my in-laws - a couple of garden claws and a hoe. For those who don't know, witchgrass is so named because it honestly is a curse on an otherwise conscientious gardener. I'm not 100% sure on the botany of the plant but in essence it's grass that sends out its shoots underground, sometimes yards and yards away from the mother plant. Eventually, they tilt up toward the surface hopefully find a new home.
What this means is that you can either have a garden that looks like it's made on a lunar landscape, with one patch of neat rows of veggies and yards and yards of open dirt around it, or you can deal with the fact that you have witchgrass.
Well, between one thing and another, the last few weeks haven't given me every opportunity I'd like to get after the stuff and we really didn't have the tools for it. One of the presents, a rake-length garden claw, was brutal against the stuff, tearing it up in chunks, leaving behind giant divots that needed to be raked in later.
At first I was weeding between the plants - our tomato plants are enormous and full of berries, so I wanted to be extra careful with them and our broccoli and pepper plants were mostly free of weeds. Once I joined in with the boys, we took out a patch of witchgrass that was probably about ten feet square and did so in about twenty minutes. The boys found all manner of bugs crawling in and around the roots of the plants and were very enthusiastic the entire time, although we did need to take a couple of breaks for water.
Partway through, our neighbour, the boys' uncle, showed up with a rototiller and, well, if we worked fast, that thing worked at the speed of light. The remaining witchgrass was torn up and turned under in five minutes flat. After watering the plants, cleaning off our gear (and our feet) and picking up our green beans, we headed inside with a small tin we'd filled with the last of our greenbeans.
At dinner tonight, I asked Graeme if he'd ever heard the phrase, "fill the earth and subdue it." He allowed that he had, although he thought it was from an episode of Young Justice (hint, it's in Genesis). He said that it sounded mean to subdue the earth, and I agreed that it did sound mean. And then I asked him if we'd subdued the witchgrass outside. He said that we definitely had, and grinned about it. I asked him to chomp down on one of the green beans we'd picked. He did, once, and then chomped the rest of it in just one more bite.
This, I told him, is why we subdue the earth, and teaches us about how to do it the right. We need things from it and sometimes, just sometimes, the things we're given aren't the things we need and we need to make the earth work for us. It doesn't mean we can do whatever we want to the earth and not suffer any consequences, but we do what we need to.