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.