Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Weed Killer

This morning someone sent me this tragic story of a rural murder.

Farm Worker

This is all part and parcel of choosing death rather than life:  "We need to kill the 'weeds'," as your general orientation/goal, rather than  "to grow healthy, flourishing crops."  This habitual, oppositional/violent orientation is endemic to our culture, and poisons everything--every encounter we have, not just with "weeds," but between people as well (this story illustrates both rather well).  
If, instead, the goal were to grow things that are as healthy as possible, to "choose life" in that occupation of farmer--to walk in a peaceful way with all living things they encounter, in their occupation--then anything one farmer did for his crops could only help the neighbor's crops, or at least wouldn't be able to outright kill them.  But if "maximizing yield" (and therefore money) is the primary goal, then that one choice right there leads inevitably to violence (a violent orientation sets you on that path); that choosing of death rather than life, right on that apparently innocuous level ("they're just weeds") is choosing death. 
Soldier, Vietnam
It doesn't matter how innocuous the choice seems at the time, how small, how correct even; that path leads to destruction.  That's just where it goes.  Death for the weeds, suffering and death for the people who harvest the crops and are exposed to the toxic chemicals, somewhat slower suffering and death for people who eat them (or eat the things that eat them) and are exposed to lower but chronic levels of those toxins, and in this case, outright death by explosive violence for one man at the hands of his own neighbor. 

"Today I have set before you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your children might live!"  --Deuteronomy 30:19

Here's something else in the article that is so common in our culture: 

"We cannot lose this technology," Perry Galloway, an Arkansas farmer who has used dicamba and dicamba-tolerant soybean seeds. "We've come too far at this point to just throw it away."

This is a hugely common, and very strong, fallacy.  "We've come too far," "We've invested too much," etc.  But C.S. Lewis addressed this best:

"We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive."

The good news is, it's never too late to start choosing life.  And even the tiniest choice begins to correct the course.