Last Saturday morning we were babysitting one of our grandchildren. Tom made eggs for her – very sweet. Then, he made breakfast for himself – yes, he loves to cook. Finally, he sat down to enjoy it.
About this time I had just finished helping Willow get started with her breakfast when I noticed – no breakfast for me?! I immediately started thinking, “Why didn’t he fix anything for me? He only thinks about himself, etc…” I was in the middle of this thought process (which is never a healthy way to think), when I heard another voice in my heart say, “Eradicate or Irrigate?” I had a choice to make – feed it or kill it. Here’s the conversation which followed:
“Tom, I’m being tempted to be upset with you.”
I proceed to tell him, and Tom says, “I’m sorry, you don’t usually eat eggs, I’ll make some for you.” (see the unselfish husband I married?)
“That’s not why I’m telling you – I’m sorry I noticed it in the first place. Second, I don’t want to be this way!”
And the conflict was completely eradicated. I could also give you many examples where I’ve irrigated the irritations, but let’s suffice it to say – it’s not pretty. In fact, this is sin in it’s basic, ugly form.
These are moments where temptation pours in like a flood. In farming terms it could be related to irrigation. In essence we’re pouring water on those little irritations which helps the irritation grow between us.
Instead, we should be eradicating them.
“Eradicate” – according to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary means:
To pull up the roots, or by the roots. Hence, to destroy anything that grows; to extirpate; to destroy the roots, so that the plant will not be reproduced; as, to eradicate weeds.
So why are we tempted to irrigate instead of eradicate? Because we’re sinners in need of a Savior, and it’s a whole lot easier to open the floodgates than it is to pull up a plant by its roots.
Last Saturday I was able to completely eradicate this argument. What could have ruined the day ended up being just a bump in the road. I am grateful to God I was alert to this temptation, and even more thankful for the analogy He provided. It made it easier to stop. If given a conscious choice I would never choose to irrigate my irritations, but often I’m way down the road heading the wrong way before I even notice.
What about you? Do you find it easier to eradicate or irrigate?