It had been many years since we’d planted tulip bulbs and I was watching the progress with great anticipation. Several were almost ready to bloom. I took a picture of one of the buds and planned to take another when the flower was in full bloom.
Well, I did get another picture of this stalk, but it was not what I had hoped for. The nice, plump bud had been eaten by the wild rabbit that lives in our neighbourhood. Several more of these promising flowers had suffered the same fate.
There are still a few buds remaining so either our furry friend had his fill or moved on to sample the fare in another garden. Either way, I can’t count on this not being repeated with the other flowers.
Yes, I am disappointed. Being upset won’t do me any good, though, so I started looking for the life lesson that must be there for me. It didn’t take long to find!
There are times in life I have had great plans that haven’t quite made it to fruition. Like the blooms, they were so close I could almost smell their fragrance. At the last minute, something came along and nipped them in the bud.
Maybe the opportunity wasn’t the right one for me. Perhaps I had more to learn. No matter the reason, I need to keep planting my dreams and goals. It can be scary to risk again knowing things may not turn out the way I hope. The chance is worth it though because that’s what helps me learn and grow.
“If you are never scared, embarrassed or hurt, it means you never take chances.” Julia Soul
Some of the flowers in our planters were wilting and turning brown. There were still plants with healthy blooms and a few new buds forming. To extend the blooming period of these plants I needed to deadhead them.
Deadheading is done by removing the flowers as they fade. Pruning and pinching keeps the plant from going to seed and then dying.
As I did this I pondered the process of removing what is no longer needed so that new growth can occur. This is true in life as well as in gardening.
There have been times I’ve held onto thoughts and behaviours that were not productive. The only comfortable thing about them was their familiarity. Still, I clung to them as though they were something precious.
Jesus gave the example of people being the vine and God the gardener. This biblical example was what I needed to focus on. Pruning in my life needed to be done before I could begin to live the fruitful life that had been planned for me.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 15:1,2 NIV)
The once beautiful bouquet of flowers had now wilted. Their heads drooped, petals fell and the leaves were crisp and dry. They had been like this for days before I finally disposed of them. My reasoning for keeping them was that even in this state, they reminded me of the beauty and fragrance that had been present in previous days.
As I removed the flowers from the vase, I was reminded that nothing lasts forever. The joys in my life need to be savored in the moment and stored as beautiful memories. Sometimes, like cut flowers, they will be gone far too quickly. Just as these flowers were an unexpected gift, so are many things that happen in my life.
I choose to view my life as the perennial flowers in my garden. They bloom for a season, one lovely blossom being replaced by the next. Then they have a season where they appear dormant. This time of rest prepares them for the next phase, when they will burst forth into renewed life as the seasons change once again.
As I think of my wilted flowers I choose not be sad that they are gone, but to be thankful that I had the opportunity to enjoy them in the first place. They brightened my life in the short time they were here. At some point I will again enjoy a bouquet of flowers. They will not be identical to the ones I had, but will each bring their own beauty into my life. I trust God to provide the fragrance of new beginnings and the season of rest, all in his perfect timing.
For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” 1Peter 1 23-25 NIV
Be inspired this week.