Sunday, May 31, 2015

Pretty but dangerous

Vinca Minor
From WikiMedia Commons
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. –1 Peter 5:8 (NIV)
As my husband and I hike the trails of the great outdoors, we spot different forms of wildlife and plants. I especially love wildflowers, often stopping to examine tiny blooms and wishing I knew what they were.
But I’ve learned not all flowers are good for the environment.  

Take periwinkle, for example. Those pretty, delicate blossoms can be downright dangerous to its surroundings. Also known as vinca minor, the quick-growing vine can take over an area, crowding out native vegetation and providing very little in terms of food and other habitat needs for native wildlife, such as insects and birds. Like other non-native invasive plants, vinca minor plays a major role in the decline of native plants—and wildlife dependent on them.
Spreading by its root system, vinca minor is hard to get rid of. It isn’t easy to pull up all the roots. It just takes a portion left in the ground for the persistent plant to reappear.
Who would have thought those innocent-looking flowers could be so dangerous?
Photo by Janet Allen
Stewardship Garden 

That’s how temptation comes—appearing as something harmless, pretty, and beneficial. Something that will satisfy us physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
That’s how Satan tempted Eve to eat the fruit God specifically commanded them not to eat. “She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too” (Genesis 3:6 NLT).
The result was not what they expected. Where before they knew only good, they now knew evil. And because they knew evil, God did not want them to eat of the Tree of Life and live forever in their sinful state. So they were expelled from Eden.
They lost their innocence, their home, their easy way of life, and their relationship with God Almighty. No more walks in the garden with Him in the cool of the evening. No more tending to a beautiful, weed-free garden planted in just the right kind of soil just for them. No more looking at things with awe and wonder.
Sin had done its nasty job. Their perspective of the world, of life, and of themselves was forever tainted.
Satan hasn’t changed his tactics.
A song popular in 1977 concluded with these words: “It can’t be wrong if it feels so right.” Dangerous words. Because something can look and feel right and be so wrong—and change your life and the lives of those you love forever. Something good can be irretrievably lost.
Don’t be fooled. Be alert. Pray for wisdom and strength.
And the God of grace will give you what you need to fight and win (1 Corinthians 10:13).
When temptation comes my way, O Lord, give me the wisdom to recognize it for what it is and the strength to say no. Amen.

More tea: Read Genesis 3

To learn more about invasive plants in Pennsylvania, visit the following sites: 

DCNR Invasive Species Site:

Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas, National Park Service:

Invasive Plants Field and Reference Guide, U.S. Forest Service: 

No comments:

Post a Comment