May 31, 2009 | The Rev. Dr. Scott Stoner
All In Good TimeA story is told about a little girl that was growing impatient waiting for the rose bush in the back yard to bloom.† One day, when the rose buds were still several days from opening,† she could wait no longer.† She went to the bush and began pulling on the pedals trying to get them to open.†† Soon she had pulled the pedals off all of the flowers.† She began to cry and her mother game out to see what was wrong.† The child explained that she was sorry for destroying the flowers, but that she was only trying to help them bloom faster. †
††† I felt a bit like this child in regards to a tree in our yard this year.† It is an ash tree and it is quite beautiful, but it is always the last tree in our yard to bud.†† Every year I worry that the tree is sick and that something must be wrong.††† Then, finally, just this past week the buds on the ash tree began to appear and are now everywhere.† The tree looks quite healthy after all, and soon its leaves will be in full blossom.†
†††† How is your patience when waiting for something to blossom?† When I ask this question, I am not only referring to plants or trees.† At any given time in our lives we may find ourselves waiting for something or someone to blossom.† A new relationship may not be moving fast enough for us.† The promotion we thought we would have had by now may not have happened.† We may be concerned that our child is not maturing as fast as his or her peers.† Our marriage may feel dormant and we are anxious for romance to bloom again.† We may be recovering from a significant loss, and feel frustrated that new life is not returning fast enough.
††††† In our impatience for something or someone to blossom, we may make the mistake that the little girl did regarding the rose bush: we may start picking at our child, or friend, or spouse, or colleague, trying to make something happen sooner than is possible.† This will create just the opposite reaction.† Rather than moving growth along more quickly, our impatience often delays the growth or change we seek, or might even destroy it altogether. †
†††† Watching and waiting for a plant or tree to blossom is a good reminder for us that we do not control the world around us.† The forces of life, love and growth are a mystery.† We are not the creators of these forces, but we are called to be the stewards of them.† Each plant, each tree blossoms when it is ready, and so it is with ourselves, others and the important relationships in our lives.† Our role is to provide proper conditions for life and love to grow, and then to patiently wait for that to happen. †
†††† There is much to be learned about life and love as we watch the earth blossom all around us this time of† year.† The late blooming tree in my yard taught me an important lesson about patience:† that life unfolds at its own pace.† I invite you to take a few moments this week to reflect on a lesson or two that the natural world might have to teach you.†† Nature is always a good teacher when we have the patience to be good students.
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