"Nip it in the bud."
The person most responsible for making this phrase famous has to be Barney Fife, Deputy to Sheriff Andy Griffith. His catch phrase has inspired at least one rap song and numerous comedy routines.
I was recently reminded of the wisdom of this saying when I took a moment to really look at the flower beds in my yard.
The cosmos plants were fading away and ready to be removed. I pulled out the dead plants, making sure the seeds stayed behind.
Then I found plants I didn't want in the bed. These plants had also flowered and were starting to go to seed. I wasn't going to allow the plants or seeds to stay in my yard, so I started pulling up the plants. They were much more difficult to remove. The roots were a lot bigger and deeper than those of the Cosmos.
I had noticed the plants when they were a smaller, but didn't bother removing them. Now, instead of tiny, easily removable seedlings, I was dealing with sturdy plants that wanted to stay where they were. After a lot of struggle, I finally removed the plants from my beds. Some of the seeds have fallen in my yard, so I know the plants will return, but I will be sure to pull up any seedlings I spy next year. I do not want to wrestle with those plants again.
How many times have I ignored an issue in my life until it became a huge problem? How much easier is it to deal with a problem when it first appears rather than ignoring it until drastic measures are required? How much pain and trouble could be avoided by choosing another path?
It's time to re-examine my life so I can weed out any problems and nip them in the bud.