Bloom where you are planted
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.
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.