Recently, Jules and I have taken a particular interest in getting flowers to grow along the path that leads to our front door. And after a couple of attempts and some pretty solid rain here in Central Florida we have this nice border of purple flowers. They are healthy and thriving, which is pretty nice I have to admit.
Not too far in our bush/flower bed we have a conglomeration of flower types and colors. Now, I know as little as any person about types of flowers, but one type that we have is the marigold. They grow fairly easily and they have this cute (yes, I said cute) little yellow flower that buds. We have planted probably a half dozen marigolds in the flower bed, and every once in a while we pluck the dead/dying buds and throw them in our yard. Well, apparently, and I did not know this… the planted buds can actually grow a new flower plant. So, one of these buds that we thought was dying and tossed – ended up in our row of purple flowers and began to grow an entirely new plant. We didn’t do anything to help this little guy grow, in fact, we hadn’t intended for it to be planted at all, and yet there he was. (For some reason I have decided this marigold is a guy…)
I started to think about how so many of us are so unhappy with the state of our lives. In fact, it seems like one of the defining characteristics of society is to complain about where we are and what we do and even who we become. We blame people and situations for everything. People blame parents, the government, global warming, traffic.
But, I have heard a saying that goes, “Bloom where you are planted.”
You know there’s something to be said for that. The fact is God controls every aspect of our lives. Where we were born, who our parents are, where we were raised, and he puts us exactly where he wants for a reason. Now, we may have no idea what that reason is, and a lot of times that reason isn’t even remotely clear to us. And sometimes even when it is we choose to try to ignore it.
The Bible is full of people that chose to “bloom” where they were planted. David, Moses, Abraham, Ruth, Nehemiah, Joseph, Job. They all followed the situations God gave them and did (with some exceptions) the best they could to be faithful to his purpose… even when they weren’t sure what that purpose was.
Jonah… on the other hand… did his best to avoid the situation God was calling him to. And one of the things I remember in my Hebrew study of Jonah was that his name meant “dove,” which was a symbol of folly and foolishness to the Hebrews. His running from God’s plan and purpose was foolish, and ultimately flawed because there is no running from God. Even when he was forced to submit and do what the Lord called him to do he grumbled and complained about it. God called him to prophesy judgment on Ninevah, and when they repented and turned to God, Jonah was angry that God showed mercy. How many preachers today would love to have that kind of revival and see God work in that way? Yet, Jonah was not.
There are some people who will always shake their fists at their circumstances. Some people will always find a reason to be angry and hate life. And others will take advantage of even the smallest of opportunities. Others will see the gifts God has given them, instead of the gifts God has not given them. As my Pastor says, some people see their lives and become bitter and others will become better.
Which one will we be?