Hello! If you’re new, glad to have you! If you’re returning, thank you for coming back. I know you have a choice. Well, as usual, grab a drink of some sort, maybe a light snack, and find a comfy spot to relax a minute. I’m thinking about spring flowers today. Not growing them, (my kids will tell you I kill everything I touch in the plant world) but admiring their beauty.
Easter Lilies are popular this week, since we just had Easter Sunday. But don’t be sad, in the Liturgical year, Easter lasts for 50 days! Right up until Pentecost. I’ll talk more about Pentecost in a few weeks. Right now, I’m impressed with Mother Nature’s spring show!
The Easter Lilies, all white and pure, with green leaves that speak of life. Their trumpet-shaped blossoms seem to trumpet to the world that Jesus has risen. He’s Alive! Blue and pink and purple Hyacinths, globe-shaped to remind us that His salvation is for everyone on earth. A few Roses are in bloom, not only with their sweet scent; but also with the thorns that remind us of the crown we gave Him. Yet He willingly wore that crown to bring us the sweet scent of His love. It makes me want to pick a red rose and offer it back to Him in return for His great love for me.
I mentioned the little ground violets last time. These little flowers quite intrigue me. Even after Mike mows the lawn at the retreat center, these little violets show their strength and beauty. While the proud dandelions have their heads chopped off, the humble little violets just stay low, nearly out of sight, and the mower does not reach them. They just stay strong through the wind of the mower blades, and stay sweet as ever. They don’t pale in their color, they aren’t frightened of the mower because they know it won’t touch them. Their shiny green leaves speak of vibrant life, their purple color speaks of both repentance and royalty. There are little black dots that seem to speak of little sins. But the gold spikes in the centers speak of redemption and the presence of God; while the white streaks through the petals speak of purity of heart. What lessons we can learn from such a little flower!
I said the dandelions are proud, but I love them, too. Their sunny yellow color never fails to bring cheer to my heart and a smile to my face. There are lessons to be learned from them, in spite of their reputation as a ‘weed’. First of all, they are hardy and persistent. Have you ever tried to eradicate them from your yard? That’s a battle I choose not to fight too hard. Dandelions come up no matter what I’ve tried. Then, they are prolific. They truly ‘bear much fruit’ in the sense of going to seed and re-sprouting all the time. Pick one with all the white seeds on it, and just blow on it. The seeds scatter far and wide, to take root in any little bit of soil and grow vigorously. They are tenacious – they can root themselves in a miniscule bit of dirt between the cracks in the sidewalk. Once they put down their roots, they are not easily removed!
Purple Thistle is also pretty, but watch out. These plants (noxious weeds) are very invasive and will choke out anything else they are around! They start small, but grow quickly. If left unchecked, they will soon be higher than my head, prickly and thorny, and ready to spread their seeds like the dandelions. Sometimes I think these are the weeds Jesus spoke of in the parable of the sower, the thorns or weeds that choked out the good seed of the Word of God. I wonder what seemingly ‘good’ or ‘pleasant’ things we allow in our lives that are actually choking out the best things?
Is our ‘thistle’ computer time? Are we spending so much time playing games or taking surveys that we are neglecting time we could spend with our family? Or is our prayer life being choked out, because ‘we don’t have time’ to pray? I’m not picking on computers, obviously I’m using one right now. But is there something in my life that is literally choking the life out of me?
Take a close look at the ‘flowers’ in your own life. If you recognize something like thistle in your own life, and need some help, find a pastor or priest. Talk to them about it. They can help! Just be sure to take time to appreciate the real flowers- in your life and in nature!