A few days ago, I went for a drive with my daughter, Megan, to take some photos. We didn’t really have a plan. It was one of those ‘lets just see what we can discover’ type of adventures. I like to do this with my kids. We just spend time walking through the bush or a garden or along the beach or even at the shops. There is no agenda. No plan. It’s just a time to chat, listen and look.
One of the things I like to do is stop to observe things. Little things. Hidden things. Like spiders weaving their web or interesting patterns on flowers. Insects going about their daily routine or birds feathering a nest. You get the picture. If I can, I will get a photo. If not, then I just watch for a while before moving on. Walking slowly, looking, listening.
As Megan and I moved through the garden we had found in a small community south of Perth, we chatted (she chatted, I listened) and we took photos of the things we saw. It is always interesting to me what your kids will talk about if you don’t interrupt their thought process and it is fascinating to observe them making discoveries for themselves, even if you have prompted their focus in a certain direction. As we walked around the gardens paths, a few thoughts came to mind.
Lessons from the garden…
From Death to Life – We have all admired beautiful flowers, but you might not have paid much attention to dead ones. Yet there is a stark beauty in the final stage of a flowers life that reminds me that in death there is life and that new things come from the passing of old things. Seasons change. They must.
Along The Path – Everything is about perspective. Sometimes, you just have to sit on the path you are walking because it gives you a better perspective than just blindly pressing on.
The Training Wire – The sole purpose of a training wire is to provide strength and support to the plant. In this case it is a climbing rose. The wire supports the branches as they spread up and out from the body of the plant. They also allow the gardener to train the plant to grow in the way they so desire. As in life, having a little support is a good thing, even necessary.
At its heart, this is what discipleship is about. It’s what parenting is about. It’s what managing a team is about. A rose plant, a grape-vine, a fruit tree; they are all capable of existing and flourishing on their own. It’s what plants do. But if you provide training and guidance, then an already amazing plant has the potential to become magnificent. The plant still does all the work, but you get to help shape it for a life of fruitfulness. There is something about that process, that privilege, that brings me great joy.
Happy New Year…
Thanks for reading! I am planning to blog a lot more frequently this year, so happy new year to all my friends and followers and my hope for all of us in 2017 is that we might take more time to notice the little things around us. Enjoy.