Monday, May 05, 2008

Growing slowly...growing strong.

My sister sent me a quote and meditation recently from livinglifefully.com and it just is so well written that I wanted to share it here for you, but also for me to read through a few more times over the next few weeks. Many of you just left comments here when I invited you to share your favorite images and thoughts about nature; they were really wonderful and as spring continues to burst forth around me here in Michigan, these thoughts are just fitting for many of us it seems. I hope they make you pause and think of your own circumstances. I love that God has placed in all our hearts a sense of Him though nature... we can see beauty and power and be awed by the tiniest cell to the grandest mountain landscapes or vast oceans. There is a never-ending supply of inspiration, but I also find that nature is so humbling to me when I look closely too. I never cease to wonder at it all. I hope you love this as much as I do...
Daily quote from May 2:
All of nature offers lessons on living, free of charge. One morning I noticed a dead tree supporting many living things--fungus, vines, lichen--which taught me that even after death we can continue to support those who live on. Living trees on our property teach other lessons. One tree has grown around a barbed wire fence. Another has grown around a nail, and a third through a chain link fence. These trees teach me how to accept irritation, absorb the pain and grow around problems. Nature teaches me how to find my place, grow toward the sunlight and bypass obstacles. To survive, we must be able to change in response to whatever is required by the challenge of the moment. Our bodies know this,but our minds often rebel when change is necessary.
Today's Meditation:
Resilience and adaptation. These are qualities that can be quite beneficial to us, but with which we tend to struggle greatly. First of all, we tend to do our best to avoid situations in which we need to show these qualities, for they're very often unpleasant. Why do we need to show our ability to adapt unless someone's put some barbed wire in our way? Why do we need to adapt unless we need to grow around a nail or through a chain link fence?
If someone does put an obstacle in the way of the direction in which we're growing, we tend to complain a lot before we even think of adapting to the new obstacle. We tend to say it's not fair, and the obstacle should be removed! Unfortunately, I think, we far too often succeed in removing the barrier before we ever have to learn how to grow around it, and we end up learning nothing from a potentially great learning opportunity.
We can learn from the trees who stand their ground day after day, just doing what trees do. They grow to be strong but flexible, and it's not their strength that allows them to withstand severe storms, but their flexibility. When they meet an obstacle, they grow slowly but surely around it, without a single complaint (that we know of, anyway!)
This moment requires something from you, be it patience, understanding, strength, courage, or something else. There are examples of all these things to be found in the natural world, role models for us to learn from and to take valuable lessons from. The lessons are there for us, but the question is whether or not we see and accept them.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. I needed some encouragement as I face my MIL cancer diagnosis and her treatments following this. I fully enjoy your blog and look here for inspiration. Thank you and God bless.

Valerie

{ME} said...

My hubby and I both work full time and my husbnad is 6 months away form obtaining his MBA (going to school full time at night). With two young kids, school, and the day to day activities, I have felt overwhelmed and like a "single wife" for 18 months. With consistent change (as young ones do in ones life) I am "trying" to adapt to these daily changes but have felt like strength is often not enough. It's not always strength that leads one forward but the ability to be flexible.

Jennifer said...

Sorry for the delayed comment, but this is such a great post. I found your blog on my friend's blog that recently lost her baby. I too lost a baby back in March. The encourging words and your inspiring life has brought me a lot of joy. Thank you for sharing your life and showing such resolve!