Monday, October 03, 2005

lessons from a dying plant

I received a beautiful orchid as a housewarming gift when I had my party back in June.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am plant killer through and through. I've never ever bought myself a plant because I know myself well. Two other friends have bought me plants (one for my birthday 2 years ago, another for my housewarming at my last apartment 4 years ago). I even got quite excited when I saw noticeable growth in one of them.

Alas, it was only a matter of time before I killed them both after a few months of concerted on-again, off-again effort.

I was quite excited to receive the orchids as they are one of my favourite flowers. So simple and elegant. I was thrilled to discover the instructions for care were simple -- indirect sunlight and water once a week. I thought I could handle once a week. And I did for quite some time. I even managed to ask my roommate to water it while I was away in Vietnam for two weeks in August.

I gave up on it in early September. Until my new roommate Becki, who has a green-thumb, gave me new hope this week. She cut the dried, flowerless stems, watered it again, and dusted off the green leaves. I had written it off as dead because the blooms had long fallen off. She pointed out the leaves were still green which meant the plant was clearly not dead yet! She made a comment about different seasons and how it wouldn't be blooming every single day of the year.

Something clicked in my head when she said that. I think I expect everything in my life to be in bloom all year round. I am quite impatient with long term anything in life, especially things like transforming my heart and forming new habits and perspectives. I want to see everything happen now. I want my food and sugar addictions to end now. I want my dream business ideas and career plans to happen now. I want my character flaws to change now. I want to see my friends' problems end now.

How unrealistic that kind of thinking is, and how it only serves to set me up for disappointment and frustration. One of the things I want to learn more is finding (and being satisfied) with rhythm and rest in my life. I want to enjoy any season I may find myself in on any given day.

1 comment:

out_there_q said...

why do we get convinced of the lies that all our dreams will come true, if we only had faith? rubbish!! and Ps 37:4 is thrown at us ... for consolation? to taunt?

what an object lesson from an orchid!

Would that the One who set things in motion and gave them form, ex nihilo , set us onto the rhythm and pattern that He designed for us!