Bloom where you are planted

The Tatura Guardian - - News - — Brian Spencer, Min­is­ter, Tatura Unit­ing Church

Noth­ing says hope quite like flow­ers grow­ing through con­crete.

Re­cently a friend posted a photo on Face­book of a plant grow­ing up from a crack in the con­crete near his mo­tor­bike.

Cov­ered in rich pur­ple flow­ers, its fo­liage green and healthy, this plant had de­fied the ob­vi­ous ad­ver­sity that should have choked out its life.

This is a mes­sage for all of us rest­less peo­ple who can’t sit still.

For all of us who are tempted to think that the world is an ex­cit­ing, won­der­ful and fas­ci­nat­ing place, but not here.

For those who are for­ever fo­cused on the next place, the next move, the next des­ti­na­tion.

It’s for those who quickly tire of where they are. This is for the cu­ri­ous peo­ple. Al­ways ques­tion­ing where else and when else and what else they could be­come.

The ones whose minds are full of ‘‘What ifs’’ and ‘‘Where elses’’. The ones who wake up at 3 am to pen down the next great idea or jump­start the next new ad­ven­ture.

I have no idea how a flower can break through con­crete.

It’s not where I would choose to plant some­thing.

In­deed I think if I tried to plant some­thing there, it would al­most cer­tainly die.

I am also sure that if I tried to take pity on this flower and trans­plant it into some more fer­tile part of the gar­den it would also die.

A flower grow­ing up through the con­crete is unique.

Its root are down deep on some se­cret source nu­tri­ents.

It has adapted it­self to its op­por­tu­ni­ties and seems obliv­i­ous to what ap­pears to me to be great dis­ad­van­tage.

I’ve been a bit of a wan­derer in life. I know what it is to want to be some­where else.

I grew up on a dairy farm and from the mo­ment I could ride a push-bike I was off to find some­thing more in­ter­est­ing than home.

As a teenager I rode trains and hitch-hiked.

As a young min­is­ter I took a post­ing as far away as I could.

I know the pull of that ‘‘greener grass’’ and never want­ing to sit still too long or let life be­come stag­nant.

But I also know the pain of con­stantly mov­ing.

The lack of roots. The loss of friends, who de­spite the best in­ten­tions, drift away.

of

wa­ter and

In this third part of my life I’m stay­ing put, and af­ter 20 years it’s start­ing to feel like home.

The ex­pres­sion ‘‘bloom where you’re planted’’ means a per­son should take ad­van­tage of the op­por­tu­ni­ties they have in their life.

I’ve met and ad­mire many peo­ple who have bloomed where they were planted.

Salt-of-the-Earth peo­ple who have lived in a small com­mu­nity all their life.

They know the peo­ple they went to pri­mary school with.

They played sport, mar­ried, raised kids where their par­ents did.

They joined com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions; had been the sec­re­tary of this for 30 years and the trea­surer of that for 25 years. Made a dif­fer­ence. The op­por­tu­ni­ties may have been lim­ited, but their roots went deep and they broke the con­crete. Je­sus too had a home­town. The ‘‘Son of God’’ and the ‘‘Son of Man’’, is Je­sus of Nazareth. He spent 30 years in Nazareth. First play­ing, then work­ing, walk­ing the same roads, lin­ger­ing over fa­mil­iar con­ver­sa­tions, and smil­ing at old friends.

I have been rather taken aback by this re­al­i­sa­tion, that God chose to spend 90 per cent of his time as a hu­man on earth in one tiny, unim­pres­sive town.

I can­not fathom a sense of that lo­cal­ity.

Even in his min­istry he didn’t venture far from Nazareth. Yet he too broke the con­crete. In this one life, in a par­tic­u­lar place and time, God came to be one of us.

This is the gospel, and it’s good news.

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