Orchids are funny plants. And by funny, I mean a giant pain in the rear. These high maintenance flowers require a certain level of patience and perfection that I was just not born with.
I had all but given up on trying to get the orchids on my patio to grow….Who am I kidding, I totally gave up. Matter of fact, I completely forgot about them. I’m ashamed to admit that I last laid hands on our planting pots last year while preparing for hurricane Irma. They were shoved up against the wall, tucked behind the trash can and have been there ever since.
This should not be surprising as I am also the mom who unintentionally leaves my Christmas tree up until somewhere in the middle of March every year. Yes, the spirit of procrastination is strong within me.
I do however, try to at least take the trash out every week. Emphasis on try. I succeeded in said action this week, and wouldn’t you know, as I pulled the giant, trash-filled black bin from its resting spot, a bright, beautiful piece of nature’s artwork came into view.
A flippin’ Orchid. Grand and gorgeous. And not just one, no- a whole slew of them! Just blossoming like wildflowers, right there behind the trash can, unseen and unaware of their beauty.
For a split second I was angry at these unbelievable plants. After all the research, money, time and science I had put into making them grow! How dare they show their faces so casually in the trenches of the trash corner! I mean seriously.
This flash of plant rage was over in a split second, because just as quickly, I had one of those aha moments.
The more I tried to get the stupid flowers to grow in my own strength, the more disappointed, aggravated, and like a murderer of all things green I felt. But, when I stopped trying, stopped worrying, and left it in natures hands, they blossomed in full force, in the most unlikely of places.
I think sometimes in life, we try so hard to plan everything just so, make sure all of our circumstances and environments are just right, and implement all the right habits and rituals, believing if everything is perfect, our fragile and shallow roots will produce an adequate season of blossoming.
But God really doesn’t need all of our toiling and so-called perfection, does he? In fact, I’d say we are more of a hindrance to his plans for us than anything.
In my own life, I am guilty of trying to create the perfect circumstances for my growth. I plan. I take classes. I send out applications. I plan some more. I fail, I cry, I re-plan, I buy something that seems necessary, I fail, and then I binge-watch old episodes of New Girl in my pajamas for 3 days before accepting the fact that I am only a branch and can do nothing apart from the Vine.
And even then, I can’t seem to let go. Which is, I believe, exactly why God, the comedian that he is, decided to show me via Orchid that he can do a much better job of leading me to blossom than I can.
Sometimes, giving up and letting Jesus take the wheel is not just the best, but the only course of action we can take. And when we do…we don’t just produce a pretty flower. We blossom like wildflowers, a masterpiece far beyond anything our small minds could have conceived.
And often, we bloom in the most unlikely of places under the most unlikely of circumstances, covering the grimy filth around us with an outpouring of God’s glory.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
Isaiah 43:18 But forget all that–it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.