God plants us somewhere and we bloom. Try as we might to bloom somewhere else, our best intentions usually leave us with a high chance of failure. My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
One of the most beautiful flowers of the woods around our home here at Beech Springs is the Trillium. Some old timers call it a Wake-robin. I guess that’s because they begin to push through from their rootstock not long after the ground thaws in the Spring at a time when area Robins return from their Winter migration. These beautiful, triple petaled, white, pink or purple flowers pop up in beds around Beech Springs with striking colors making them an eye popper against the background of browns, grays and mossy greens of the forest floor. Trilliums characteristically are quite hardy. I’ve accidentally trod on a bed of them and they’ve come back pretty quickly. One Trillium bed back near a pile of brush had a close shave with the heat of a pretty good fire and it came back as well. Another characteristic of the flower, however, is also striking. Transplanting them is difficult. Try as you might to carefully take a clump of them, dirt and all, and transplant them somewhere else on the property, you’ll likely fail. Trilliums, from my experience, don’t like to be transplanted. Where they’re planted is where they want to stay.
When you think about it Trilliums are much like you and I. God plants us somewhere and we bloom. Try as we might to bloom somewhere else, our best intentions usually leave us with a high chance of failure.
Here’s a story: Alexander Seversky, U.S. aviator and engineer, was once visiting a fellow flyer in the hospital. The young man had just lost his leg. De Seversky, who had an artificial leg for some time, tried to cheer him up. “The loss of a leg is not so great a calamity,” he said. “If you get hit on a wooden leg, it doesn't hurt a bit! Try it!” The patient raised his walking stick and brought it down hard on de Seversky’s leg. “You see,” he said cheerfully. “If you hit an ordinary man like that, he’d be in bed for five days!” With that he left his friend and limped into the corridor, where he collapsed in excruciating pain. It seems the young man had struck Seversky on his good leg! (Today in the Word, October 29, 1992.)
Seversky had the best of intentions when he offered his leg for a target, but it didn’t work out the way he planned it. Like those Trilliums, the potential for us to bloom as Christians wherever we choose is there as well, but the potential for success depends upon God and not us. Seversky assumed the young man knew which leg to strike; he didn’t. Similarly, when we take God out of our plans for growth, things may go awry quickly. I look at those beautiful beds of Trilliums blooming around Beech Springs and I long to transplant them so that they will fill every corner of the property. Good intentions and the potential for success seems obvious. Trilliums, however, depend on the beds they’re born in. That is just the way it is, plain and simple. Seversky’s plan was a simple one, but it failed because there was a control element missing, there was a 50% chance of failure without that young man knowing which leg to hit. God loves simplicity. He offers us a plan for blooming as successful Christians if we simply agree to stay put where he plants us. It’s that simple. Consider the Trilliums in the woods; they do best where God put them. Fool with that and you risk taking a spiritual hit you really don’t need to take.
We pray. We love being Christians Lord, and we are grateful that you have called us out from our sinful lives to give us the hope of Jesus Christ and eternal life. Sometimes, Lord, we strive too much to do and make a difference in our Christian lives, overlooking completely the role that you have already given us in our homes, workplace and neighborhood. This is where we bloom best, but sometimes we fail to see it. Forgive us when we strive too much and abide too little. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt 6:34)
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