May 22, 2011

Spring Flowers

Spring and the budding of new flowers is always enchanting to me.  I have always liked change.  I like change just for the sake of change.  About every six months or so, I want to rearrange our bedroom just because it's been that way for too long.  So Spring and flowers blooming and a change in weather is wonderful for me.  I think I like extreme weather (snow, heat, torrential rain) for the same reason.  But I digress.  

We have the most amazing bulb flowers in our front yard.  Amazing because they keep coming back no matter how poorly I treat them and no matter how much I think they are bound to die before the next Spring arrives. They bloomed a week or so ago. The blossoming flowers remind me of me.  Of us.  Of humans who are trying to "arrive" and become all that we dream of becoming.  Over night.

At first, it hardly seems like any progress is being made.  
The outside changes little from one day to the next.  
That's because everything is happening on the inside.  

The inside really is what counts the most.

That's because what happens on the outside is really 
only evidence of growth and maturity from the inside.

It takes a long long time.  You start to see some color and you think it's coming soon, but then you find that the delay in that stage is even longer than the delay in the very beginning.

Until one day, finally, all of a sudden...

...there's a bloom!

And then the growth is exponential!  Two flowers!

We spend our whole lives waiting for the bloom.  
And when it comes, it truly is glorious.

But short-lived.  Soon cold hits again (especially if you live in Colorado where it can't decide what season it wants to be).  The bloom curls inward.  And the process starts over.  The flowers in our front yard bloom once a year for only a few days. 

Out of 365 days, they are glorious for only about 5 of them.  It just seems painful to me.  But it reminds me of a scene from C.S. Lewis' book The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  Eustace has just been transformed back from a dragon into a human again and Peter asks him, "So what was it like, when Aslan changed you?" 

Eustace replies, "No matter how hard I tried I just couldn't do it myself.  Then He came towards me.  It sort of hurt but it was a good pain, like when you pull a thorn from your foot."  Belief.  Faith.  Surrender.

I think humans and our lives on earth are like this.  This earth is for the process, not the glory.  It is for the inward growth.  

For the slowly budding faith.  
The blooms that happen here are just a glimpse of what is to come.  

Just a hint of the glory awaiting us.

So today, while I look forward to the glory that 
awaits me, I'll also enjoy the journey.

And I'll know that it is just the journey and not the end.

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