Spring takes a long time to arrive in Southern Alberta. When it finally arrives, it makes up for lost time. In the span of a week, the trees were full of leaves and brightly coloured blossoms. The lawn was lush and green and we could practically watch it grow. The other sure sign of spring is the profusion of dandelions.
The bright yellow flowers are a favourite for young children to pick. They look so pretty that it’s hard to remember that they are weeds. When the flower dies, the plant produces seeds. Dandelions can produce up to 20,000 seeds which are blown by the wind, landing somewhere they can germinate and grow. Left unchecked, a few dandelions can quickly spread. I may follow all measures to rid my lawn of dandelions, but if my neighbours do not do the same, I will be faced with many more of these weeds in the future.
The same is true in my life. I know the things I need to do to keep my life running smoothly. Slowly I have let little weeds enter, feeling that they are small enough to not cause problems. Once I allow them to take hold, they put down roots, spread their seeds and multiply. Soon my life is overrun and I’m left wondering what happened.
Jesus plants only good, fruitful seeds in my life. My responsibility is to nurture these seeds and not to allow the weeds to choke them out. By walking closely with Jesus, I can eliminate the weeds and live the fruitful life that he has planned for me.
“Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.” Matthew 13:23 NKJV
I was standing in the grass on a highway median, doing my best to keep three little girls occupied while a tire on their vehicle was being changed. They were starting to get restless when I spotted movement in the tall grass. Showing them the grasshopper was a wonderful distraction. Soon we were on the hunt for more of these insects.
Two of the girls excitedly spotted several more and delighted in watching the hopping action. The other one complained that she couldn’t see grasshoppers; all that she could see were bugs! Explaining that these were the grasshoppers didn’t help. She wanted nothing to do with them.
Reflecting on this later, I wondered how often I have missed the wonder of something new because I couldn’t see past my perception of what I thought it should be. Life is full of exciting adventures but only if I open my heart and mind to accept and receive them. Immediately deciding that I don’t want or like something means I will miss these discoveries. It is when I forget my routine life and enter into the adventure that I can truly experience what God has in store for me.
No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV
Be inspired this week!
The river was flowing steadily as I headed upstream. It was lovely walking beside it with the sun peeking out from the clouds, warming my face. As I walked along further I noticed that the pace of the river had changed. The previously rushing water had now slowed and was much gentler. This slower pace was very calming. I wondered what had happened to cause this change in the flow so started watching it more carefully. Continuing on I came to a place where trees had fallen into the water, partially obstructing the flow. This was what had slowed its pace – a log jam.
Looking at this, I was reminded of the obstacles that have suddenly appeared in my path, slowing me down. What I perceived as a log jam could have been something put there to serve a purpose in my life. Maybe I need to slow down, reflect and re-evaluate where I am going instead of being caught up in the current of life. The blockage does not stop the river. It keeps flowing, just changes course. This is another part of the lesson. Obstacles do not have to stop me. They enable me to change my course, often to a better one I would not have taken otherwise. When I take the time to listen and observe, I realize that God has placed many lessons in the beauty of nature that surrounds me.
A person may plan his own journey, but the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9 God’s Word Translation