None of us try to get snagged by thorns. You're walking along minding your own business when you suddenly realize you are stuck. Thorns have grabbed your clothes. Stickers are stuck in your socks. You sure didn't mean for any of it to happen but it did and now you have to get unstuck.
When we know the thorns are present (or the stinging nettle or the burdock) we avoid them. And if we can't avoid them, if we must walk through them, we can prepare ourselves. If we have to work with stinging nettle we wear sturdy gloves and long sleeves. If we know we have to dig up burdock we avoid those burrs that seem to reach out and grab at our clothes and our hair.
It is the ones we aren't aware of that often do the most damage. One simple thorn can tear a hole in an expensive garment. Repair of that garment will take time, expertise and money if we want it done right.
In Luke 8 Jesus calls three things thorns (some translations call them weeds):
*Pleasures of this life.
If there is life, there are thorns. It is the way it is. If we know where the thorns are we can be prepared.
We have to make sure they don't tear holes in our faith (later in the same chapter Jesus tells us that it is through steadfastness of our faith that we produce fruit...and in John He says he has called us to produce fruit).
If you find yourself consumed with worry (where I was for a time last night -- I couldn't reach my husband on the phone, my oldest son was driving through storms; my oldest daughter was away; my 15 year old son has a pressure sore that is taking a long time to heal; our future's details are unknown.....mainly I was fearing for my husband's and two oldest children's lives...I know -- I was irrational), look straight up. Ask Jesus to fight for you. Tell those worries to flee. Pray scripture that bolsters your faith. Those worry thorns want to tear into your soul. Don't let them.
And be very careful if you find yourself pursuing riches, pursuing money, pursuing the "good life."
Ask yourself if it is where God is leading you. Is it drawing you closer to Christ or closer to the ways of the world?
Jesus told us in Matthew 6:19-21, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
He's trying to keep us from trouble. He's trying to protect us.
God leads His children in many ways. There are people everywhere who need to see Jesus. We need God's light in every area of the world. But beware Traveler. There are dangers ahead.
And finally the pleasures of this life -- they are God given. Yet if they are what we live for we've made an idol out of God's gift.
I came across a neat article about thorns written by Herbalist Jim McDonald. You can read it here. I recommend it. It's very interesting and has so much spiritual application.
Be vigilant as you tread the path laid out before you.