Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sunflower Lessons

   Driving to a nearby town a few weeks ago, I saw large wild sunflowers blooming along side of the road. There was paved road, gravel, and then sunflowers. They weren’t part of a formal garden, where someone had carefully selected the spot for them to grow. They weren’t being cultivated and tended carefully. These were where some sunflower seeds had been taken by the wind and were now growing.

   Driving along, I was thinking that we have some lessons presented to us in the most obvious fashions that we find, at times, to be unbearably subtle. There were lessons that were coming from that sunflower patch that day.a
   Standing in the sun, they were blooming where they were planted. They were not looking disheveled and at a pouted wilt because they didn’t like their location. It didn’t matter that mulch wasn’t placed around or that the border flowers are really just a collection of weeds. So, the lesson is to bloom were you are at. Don’t wait for the perfect garden landscape to be created around you. Create beauty where you are.
   Do I always succeed at this? I roll my eyes even thinking about it, No! No, I don’t. Sometimes I look around, and certainly have looked around, and wondered – why here, why now, what in the world is around me? Conversations would occur in my car, prayers that generally consisted of, “Lord, can you tell me why I am here? And I know you have a purpose, so can we just get it over with so I can get out of here? These people don’t even have a ....!” Thankfully, patience is a virtue because I haven’t found my car hurtling toward some life lesson just to smash in nose first because I wanted the time-table changed. I generally find out that my blooming where I was planted wasn’t just for the benefit of someone else, but for mine as well. And as for the time in-between, it was needed, chafed against – but needed..
   The other lesson was to bloom. Period. Those seeds, perhaps dropped by birds or winter stockpiling squirrels, met the ground, buried in, and grew. There was no checklist of further supplies which had to be delivered first, no waiting list of to-dos which were to be done before further growing would commence. They were planted, so they attempted to grow. That was their focus, grow because I can and should. We often have opportunities to grow and don’t. Why? We’re waiting for all of the to-do’s to be all-done’s and the circumstances to be just so. Don’t wait. Get started – go grow!
   Again, not always my strongest point. I love to have all of the parts in place, all of the information, all of the facts, detailed and highlighted maps with exit numbers marked in color-coded highlighter. I use pro/con lists and want plans of what something will look like long before I ever step foot into even deciding whether or not to step foot into it. Thus, growth can certainly go on the back burner. But, God has a way of pushing me forward, albeit reluctantly at times, and reminding me – go grow! “But, I don’t know everything yet, what if I fail?” Yeah, that is generally what it boils down to. The answer that comes back is one that humbles me and encourages me all at the same time, “Then pick yourself up and keep growing.”
   So go, grow, and bloom.