Sober since April 6, 2006

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Let the Flowers Bloom



When I was a little girl, I loved flowers -- especially big beautiful flowers with nice fragrances. I loved to walk up to the prettiest bloom, and smell of its soft petals.

One time when I was very little, my mother planted some pretty flowering plants. But they were not ready to bloom yet. All of the stalks were crowned with little green buds. I asked why the flowers had not come out, and mom said it would take some time for the buds to bloom into flowers.

I waited for a few minutes, assuming that I could watch the buds bloom. But they never bloomed. They never grew or even moved! This was quite disconcerting for a child of my age. I soon grew restless and went away for a bit to play with some toys.

When I came back to the flowers later, the buds still had not bloomed. Letting out a frustrated sigh, my fingers impatiently caressed one of the soft green buds. I examined it closely. I could see the gentle creases where the green bud would separate for the flower to bloom.

Then another bud nearby caught my attention. A thin slice of pink peeked out from the bud. These flowers were going to be pink! My entire soul danced with giddiness -- I simply could not wait for the flowers to bloom!

Carefully stroking the peeking pink petal, the thought came to me: Perhaps I could help the flower to bloom. The poor flower wants to come out. Maybe it just needs some help getting out of that green bud. Yes! That is it!

I held my breath and carefully pulled apart the green bud so that the flower could come out. To my consternation, the flower inside was ugly and pitiful! I did not understand what was wrong with it.

I asked mom what was wrong with the flower. She explained that we have to wait for the flowers to open by themselves.

I did not like that answer. From my perspective, I had waited long enough for that flower to bloom. I thought I was helping it when I pulled the bud apart.

But being so young, it did not take long for me to find other distractions to fill my thoughts. I soon forgot about the flowers.

Many naptimes and playtimes later, I was delighted to see big beautiful pink flowers. When I smelled of their soft, fragrant petals, I noticed the dead bud that my tiny fingers had pried open long ago.

I felt silly for trying to force that flower to bloom. The other flowers had managed to bloom much better by themselves! It took time, yes -- but it was well worth it. I never pried apart another bud again.

Sometimes today, I look at situations in my life in the same way. I see many "buds" that I would like to hurry along. And sometimes I try to force them to open.

By nature, I am incredulous to the notion that my "assistance" can ruin a budding opportunity. But all of my unwanted circumstances today are the result of my "assistance" in past situations.

Just as flowers must blossom in their own time, God's work in my life must blossom in its own time. If I force it, good opportunities are reduced to nothing more than destroyed buds.

I need to step back ... and allow the buds to blossom on their own.

"God, Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
and the Wisdom to know the difference. Amen."

1 comment:

friend said...

Amen sister...