While riding a bike trail in Madison County, where we so often ride, we were in a corridor of Kudzu on either side of the trail. We commented that the breeze did not seem to be coming through the vegetation as in other places of nature along the day’s pathway.
Kudzu looks so green and alive. It seems that it should be breathing life, but the truth is that it is killing everything under and around it. Kudzu is a ‘climbing, coiling, trailing, perennial vine’ native to parts of Asia. It was introduced to our country in 1876 at the Philadelphia Continental Exposition as an “effortless and efficient” shade producer. In the 1930’s and 1940’s farmers in the South were even paid to plant it using it as a soil-erosion prevention.
Here’s the truth. What looked like a lovely, green solution to problems then has only caused many more problems now. Kudzu is considered a noxious and invasive weed. This import plant climbs over trees and shrubs, wraps itself around tree trunks, breaks branches and can uproot entire trees. It grows rapidly – it is able to grow one foot per day! It is drought and stress tolerant. It kills other vegetation by its heavy shading. Competition for resources becomes fierce and the native plants of many varieties of species cannot survive this invader. Kudzu roots wherever stems make contact with soil and then vines grow in all directions. This ‘leech’ of a plant is a ‘structural parasite’ because rather than supporting itself, it grows on top of other plants to reach sunlight.
Here is also what is sadly true. Power companies spend $1.5 million per year just repairing damage to power lines from Kudzu. It is very difficult to eradicate Kudzu. The underground system which can be extremely large and deep must be destroyed.
Sound familiar to anyone? In your life have you fallen for a false and easy cover over your heart that seemed like it promised life but you are dying inside being smothered by false promises? You may need to ‘cut the Kudzu’ out. It may hurt. But in the long run, you will find life.
Seek Jesus. Read His Word. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you. “You are truly my disciples if you live as I tell you, and you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.” (John 8: 32)