Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Forced Bloom

A few months ago I received a "gift".
It was a flower bulb, a terracotta pot, some soil and a paper with instructions.
The gift giver said that by following the instructions and doing it soon
that the bulb would be "forced" to bloom,
and that by Thanksgiving I would have a beautiful flower.

I was curious...
I asked the gift giver why it was considered "forced".
(my Arizona roots were showing)
The answer went something like this:
Bulb flowers naturally bloom in the spring 
after being left dormant in the ground over the winter months.
But, when you plant a bulb indoors, 
It can't help itself, 
even though it appears to be growing out of the natural order of things.
The combination of good soil, water and a warm environment
forces the bulb to grow and bloom.

So, I decided to give it a try
Could I make it grow?
I had my doubts, but followed the instructions anyway...

And I wait 
And I water
And I watch
And I see green popping out from the soil

Just the other day, a far-away friend asked me how I was doing.
The words that came to mind were "reluctantly moving forward".

I am struggling
not all the time
not everyday

I even looked up the word reluctant, just for clarity
I found words like

Yep....that's it

I am not proud of it
I would prefer to be strong all the time
I would prefer to have all the answers
I would prefer to not feel "forced" to learn something new
I would prefer...

the gift givers pot, soil and sprouting bulb stare up at me
I can not wait to see what color this flower will be
once it is in full bloom

As I too have been re-planted 
in unfamiliar soil
out of cycle 
of what my natural growth pattern was
being watered and nourished
being "forced" to grow
being "forced" to bloom

I can't help myself
even in my reluctance

For the soil here is nutritious 
the water is cool and clean
the environment is warm

I find myself fighting with the grace that God has given me
How crazy is that!

He pulled me out of the caliche earth that I was growing in just fine

and has gently planted me in different soil
"forcing" me to grow
watching over me 
watering me
feeding me
providing me a fertile place
although not my original flower bed
a place worth blooming all the same

And so
I grow
some days reluctantly
some days joyfully
but always growing

I am going to bloom

For that is how it is with God
there is no staying still
no staying dormant
no waiting

just growing
"forced" to bloom
I wonder what I will look like...

Psalm 92:12-15
(The Voice)
Those who are devoted to God
will flourish like budding date-palm trees;
they will grow 
strong and tall
like cedars in Lebanon.
Those planted in the house of the Eternal
will thrive in the courts of our God.
They will bear fruit into old age;
even in winter,
they will be green and full of sap
To display that the Eternal is righteous.
He is my rock,
and there is no shadow of evil in Him.

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