Jeremy Peyton

Shofar Sho Good Music

The Arrogant Flower, part 2

Posted By on December 11, 2012 in Thoughts | 2 comments

The Arrogant Flower, part 2

Years ago I was hiking along a ridge.  I came over a steep section and was surprised by a green field covered with purple crocuses in early spring bloom.  They were closed tightly and huddled together since the sun had not yet reached them.

On the way down the mountainside it was a different scene; they had unfurled like tiny sailboats full of sunlight, revealing their bright yellow markings.  They were awesome.  I got close to the ground so I could focus on one of them.  The more I saw the more I marveled at the incredible craftsmanship so evident there.  The lines, the curves, the use of color, the incredible care to detail… I was yanked into worship on the spot.

It got me thinking about the tension between sharing and flaunting.  Excellence versus showing off.  Flavorful versus flashy.  You get the idea.

When a flower opens up, reveals its inner colors and releases its scent, is it being arrogant?  When it closes, it is being humble?  Of course not.  That’s what flowers do.

Couldn’t a magnificent flower cause some to marvel at it and ignore its creator?  Sure, that happens all the time.  Is that the flower’s fault?  What would happen if a flower was too afraid to draw attention to itself and never opened?  It would diminish its opportunities to bring honor to its maker.  It would suppress its potential to reproduce.  It would mold and rot from the inside.

That was a big moment for me.  It unearthed a lie that I had unknowingly embraced: since Christ was a humble manifestation of God Himself reaching out, a Christ-follower should not do anything that might draw attention to him or herself.  How’s that for a limiting belief?  It has a glimmer of truth and godliness to it, but it is fool’s gold.

My responsibility is to follow the design that God built into me and be that thing.  I exist for His pleasure and to reflect a part of Him.  If I am a follower of Jesus and He put something in me to do, who am I to refuse?  It is not for me to decide what happens as a result.  It is for me to bloom and close in time.

2 Comments

  1. Austin J Smith December 12, 2012

    Bravo! Here’s to our identity in Christ from the inside out! Thanks

  2. Jerry Peyton March 12, 2014

    Great, simple insight. Reminds me of 2 Cor 2-5. “For we are a sweet aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing–to the later an odor from death to death, but to the former a fragrance from life to life” (2:15-16). How people respond to our fragrance is out of our control (being stupidly insensitive notwithstanding).

    “Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as if it were coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who made us adequate” (3:5-6). We’re not adequate. We are adequate. Both true.

    “Glory” appears 10 times in 5 verses, 3:7-11. It’s the tremendously exceeding glory that we are supposed to have, because “We all, with unveiled faces reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another, which is from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (3:18). Jesus doesn’t rebuke us for desiring or pursuing glory. He rebukes us for not pursuing glory–the eternal weight of glory he has to offer.

    I think that flower know these things very well.

    Your flower analogy also reminds me of the following poem, which was in the movie “Akela & the Bee” (Spelling Bee).

    “Our Deepest Fear” by Marianne Williamson

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
    Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
    It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
    We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?”
    Actually, who are you not to be?
    You are a child of God.
    Your playing small does not serve the world.
    There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
    We are all meant to shine, as children do.
    We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
    It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
    And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
    As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

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