Recently, while at my neighbor’s lake fishing, an impression of cattails came to mind. When I returned home, I painted a picture of cattails. As I gazed at the finished picture, I reflected on the beauty and benefits of cattails. Then a realization of how overgrowth can create negative issues for pond owner.
As I quietly reflected on the painting, the Holy Spirit began to unveil an analogy between our thoughts and cattails. Of course, I could share my personal experience and what unfolded during my quiet time; However this week I would like to share some information about cattails, a verse from the book of Romans and my painting for your reflection:
“Cattails can be desirable in a pond. They provide important wildlife habitat, shelter for birds, food and cover for fish and for the insects they eat. Cattails help protect the banks of a pond from erosion. They intercept and reduce the force of small waves and wind on the shore. The stems catch and slow water and help trap sediment and silt. Cattail roots harbor microorganisms that help break down organic materials. New research shows that cattails can also remove polluting materials from the water surrounding their roots. It is pleasing to see small patches of cattails dispersed around a pond; however, a thick wall of cattails along the shore of the pond makes it hard to enjoy their benefits. The tendency of cattails to grow in thick stands causes concern for many pond owners. If you want to reduce the amount of cattails in your pond, you should first determine how extensive they are and in what ways they interfere with your enjoyment of the pond. This will help you decide which approach will work for you.
Under the right conditions, cattails can grow and spread vigorously. The pollinated flowers develop into fluffy seed heads, blowing across a pond in autumn breezes. Just as commonly, cattails spread through their root system. The thick, white roots, called rhizomes, grow underground near the edge of ponds and in shallow swales. As long as the water is not too deep, the cattails feast off the open sunshine and abundant water, storing a large amount of food in the root system. In fact, cattails at the edge of pond can grow faster than fertilized corn in a field! The dense foliage and debris from old growth makes it very difficult for competing plant species to grow.
Cattails prefer shallow, flooded conditions and easily get established along a pond shoreline or in waters one to 1.5 feet or less in depth. When unimpeded however, the cattail beds will expand and can extend their hefty rhizomes well out into pond surface, actually floating above much deeper waters. Cattails need to have “wet feet” during most of the growing season. If you want to control cattails, you will need to disrupt the root system through cutting, hand-pulling, dredging, flooding, freezing, or chemical herbicides. One treatment is seldom sufficient. However, if your timing is good, you can successfully control cattails without chemicals with only a few work sessions every few years”.
“Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God – what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.”
Romans 12:2 NET
Spend some time asking Holy Spirit to speak to you about your thought patterns.
Ask him to show you patterns/habits where your thoughts are creating value. Where they are “working” for you.
Are there patterns of overgrowth crowding out your creativity, outcomes or worship?