In 1876, Japan brought a lush vine to America as part of Philadelphia’s ornamental plant exhibit.

It looked like the perfect solution to the soil erosion sweeping the nation during the Great Depression. It was planted in the south and never stopped growing.

It was kudzu.

It has roots that run up to 20 feet and grow 16 inches every day. Each plant will grow 100 feet per year. People have actually seen it grow. The only way to rid yourself of the plant is to kill the very root of it.

Hollywood once wanted to make a horror movie about the vine. They called Dr. Jack Tinga, a leading authority on the kudzu, at the University of Georgia to serve as a technical advisor. He wanted no part of it. He told them, before hanging up, “It’s no joking matter. If you come across kudzu, simply drop it and run.”

Some things create that much trouble in life. Jesus knew what they were. He used a similar illustration to describe one such weed affecting the lives of far too many people.

“The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.” (Luke 8:14)

What kills many spiritual lives is the pressure to keep up with their friends and present a false front of affluence. The treadmill plows worry into hearts and weaken the capacity to respond to God’s word.

What have you planted in your heart? Is it a weed that saps your spiritual vitality?

Take a hard look at what you allow to grow in your life. It may be choking you to death.

-Robert G. Taylor-