Monday, June 29, 2015

The Sunflower in my Violas

There's a hitchhiker in one of my potted plants. The hanging basket was a gift from my in-laws, who are avid gardeners, so when I first saw something foreign growing among the viola flowers, I assumed it was a weed the plant had picked up at my house.

But after looking closer, I think I recognize the invading plant. Sure looks an awful lot like a sunflower seedling. For our purposes today, let's assume I'm right.  (I'm going to move the sunflower out of the hanging basket and put it someplace it can grow. In a month or two, I should be able to tell you for sure what it turns into...)

This gets admittedly cheesy, but...

What if that sunflower compared itself to the other flowers around it? At this point, it'd feel left out. It'd get all self-conscious about how awkwardly big it was. It'd worry that not only was it not blooming yet, but it doesn't have a single bud while the smaller stalks around it have several. Sure, someday, supposedly, the sunflower would bloom, but that's so far in the future. Why does it have to wait? And let's imagine that the sunflower had the option to trade in and be like all the other flowers around it. Sure seems easier and more rewarding. But that's short-term thinking.

In the long-term, that sunflower would miss out on so much. If it traded in, it'd never tower over people's heads. It'd never yield a harvest of edible seeds. It'd never have the joy of lifting it's yellow pedals toward the light, following the sun across the sky each day.

In some way, each of us is a like a sunflower in a pot of smaller flowers. There's some way that we're all the oddball. We seem awkward. We're slower to bloom. But that doesn't mean we're inferior. God designed us each to be different in beautiful ways. Why would we trade that in order to get what those around us have?

Which brings me to that promised cheesy takeaway lesson: Don't be a pansy when you can be a sunflower. Enjoy the process of becoming who God created you to be.

Your Sister

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