Sunday, November 23, 2008
What are you planting?
Are you planting the seeds of unforgiveness & bitterness or the seeds of grace & mercy? Here is a story that I shared at the close of today's message that will help you consider what to plant today!
The Daffodil Principle
Several times my daughter had telephoned, "Mother, you must come and see the daffodils before they are over." Finally, I promised, reluctantly. I’d driven only a few miles when the road was covered with wet, gray fog. As I slowly executed the hazardous mountain turns, I was praying to reach the turnoff. When I finally walked into Carolyn’s house, I said, "Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! There is nothing that I want to see bad enough to drive another inch in this weather!" "I’ll drive," Carolyn offered. In a few minutes, we were back on the Mountain road heading over the top. We parked in a small parking lot adjoining a little stone church. I saw a pine needle covered path, and an inconspicuous, hand lettered sign "Daffodil Garden." I followed Carolyn down the path. Then we turned a corner. It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it down every crevice and over every rise. Even in the mist, the mountainside was radiant, clothed in massive drifts and waterfalls of daffodils. A charming path wound through the garden with several resting stations, with Victorian wooden benches and great tubs of tulips. It didn’t matter that the sun wasn’t shining. Five acres of flowers! "But who?" I asked Carolyn. "Just one woman," Carolyn answered. "That’s her home." On the patio we saw a poster. "Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking" was the headline. The first answer was simple. "50,000 bulbs." The second was, "One at a time, by one woman." The third was, "Began in 1958." There it was. The Daffodil Principle. For me it was a life changing experience. I thought of this woman, who, more than thirty five years before, had begun one bulb at a time to bring beauty and joy to an obscure mountain top. No shortcuts, loving the slow process of planting. She had changed her world. Her daffodil garden taught me about learning to forgive and to offer grace. I can hold onto all of the offenses that people have done to me in my life. Or I can make a decision to forgive each little one, one day at a time. I can plant seeds of bitterness or of grace "It makes me sad in a way," I admitted. "What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five years ago and worked away at it all those years. My wise daughter responded, "Start today."
Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Hebrews 12:14-15
Grace grows but so do bitter roots. The difference is in the seed that you plant!