As you read this column, you are probably going to think, “Mac, I thought you were smarter than that.” Well, I thought I was, too.
I had heard, and I’m not going to say where, that if you sprayed Roundup on your grass in the dead of winter, you can kill the weeds in your yard and not the grass. (Some of you are already thinking, “Oh no, you didn’t.” Oh yes, I did.) Most of you probably know about Roundup. The technical term for the product is glyphosate. It’s a herbicide that kills both broad leaf weeds and grasses by contact. But, I was told, if you spray your yard in the dead of winter, when the grass is completely dormant, the Roundup will only kill the weeds in your yard, and not your grass. As the guy from the turf place would tell me later, too late; you may be able to do it with other grasses, but don’t try it with centipede grass. Guess what type of grass I have in my yard.
It was back in January and we had a week of really cold weather. So, since I was told that we had too any weeds in our back yard, and since I was told that Roundup would take care of it and not harm the grass, I decided to spray. As I was spraying the chemical, I had a sinking feeling about what I was doing. I don’t know if it was the Holy Spirit or just plain old common sense (or both), but I just knew I wasn’t doing a very smart thing. But I did it anyway.
Well, the Roundup did the job. In a couple of weeks all the weeds had withered and died. But I noticed that, while the weeds were gone, the areas I sprayed looked really bad, even for winter. I had that sinking feeling once again. Then, as spring arrived, I knew for sure I had made a mistake. While the rest of the grass in the backyard was turning green, the areas I sprayed remained brown. Thank goodness, I didn’t spray any in the front yard!
So here I was a couple of weeks ago digging out the old dead grass and plugging and putting down new sods of grass in the areas that I sprayed. I was not in a good mood. Under my breath, I was blaming everyone I could think of. But, more than that, I was more frustrated with myself. As I struggled with the heavy rolls of sod, my sister phoned me. As I was telling her about my ordeal, I said, “It seems like I spend half of my life cleaning up my own messes.”
Growing up, cleaning up messes meant straightening up my room. As I have grown older, the messes have become more difficult to repair and expensive. After a few unsuccessful attempts, I learned a long time ago that I’m not Mr. Goodwrench when it comes to car repair. My dad was a carpenter and built houses. My granddad was a carpenter and built houses. I am not a carpenter, and I have some projects I have attempted in the past as evidence. Those types of messes have only cost me time, labor and money. But there have been other messes, or mistakes, I have made in the past that have cost me much more personally. And they have taken quite a while to clean up.
But we all have made messes in our lives at one point or another. Unlike me, you may be too smart to spray Roundup on your grass to kill weeds. But I bet that there is some mess you have made in your life that if you told me I would say, “I thought you were smarter than that.” That’s because we’re all human. It’s like the TV commercial for an insurance company where people are doing stupid things. In the background, you hear the song, “I’m only human.”
Funny thing about the messes we make in our lives. Although there may be consequences, God can use those messes, or mistakes, to our good. Often those situations can cause us to turn toward Him. Like me, maybe you, at a point in your life, have said, “God, help me. I’ve made a mess of this.” So, no matter what messes you or I may make, God can ultimately use them to our benefit. Therefore, there may be some good from my experience with Roundup this past winter. But, so far, the only good I have seen from it is some heavy duty exercise and an idea for a column.