Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Lesson from a Cowboy

Visiting an area of unsheltered plains as winter was turning into spring, I looked out and saw land covered in shades of brown. Only a few bits of green were there to be seen; made of low-lying scrubby-looking prairie plants which were nutrient rich for any grazing animals that might be passing through. Wind caught the scents of thawing ground, carrying a fragrance reminiscent of a rich patchouli oil.

The old cowboy got out of his jeep and pointed with a stick to a small flower. Dainty white blooms with yellow centers reminded me of an orchid, leaves stretched out along the ground as if they were attempting to gather warmth from earth and sky. “These are what we call Easter lilies,” he said with a smile. It was one of the first plants to bloom there in the spring. The arrival of these flowers means that spring has come, soon the ground will be warmed and return to being a canvas for thriving new growth. 

One of my favorite parts of Luke, as if I can pick a favorite, is where Jesus is encouraging his disciples. Not overlooking their worries, he instead speaks words of comfort. “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” Think of these beautiful flowers, starched white blooms with sunshine yellow centers; each is a delicate work of creation. Though they are not found in the flower market, not highly praised in horticultural circles; they are still lovely designs of the Creator. 

It is all a matter of perspective. I can choose to see a bare land, whipped by the wind. Or, I can look for the first flowers of the spring, and see delicate creations that thrive in such an environment. We choose to look for beauty from the Creator, just as we choose to trust in His plan and see the sovereign touch in the creation of His splendor. 

“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
Luke 12:27-31