I am ready for Spring to arrive. While here in the Missouri Ozarks there hasn’t been as much snow as what Boston, Massachusetts has had to put up with, I am tired of the cold temperatures and ready for the warmer temps of spring and summer to arrive.
About two weeks ago, I was enjoying a bit of a Winter weather reprieve. Temps were actually rising into the high 50s and 60s and one afternoon I noticed that some crocuses had pushed themselves up from the dirt around the base of a maple tree that is in our front yard. The crocuses were blooming! Their bright yellow and glossy purple petals were shining in the sun and I called the neighbor boys over as well as my son, to look at these mighty floral marvels.
Doing a bit of research on Crocus Vernus, I found that they aren’t native to North America. Crocuses are native to alpine regions of Europe and Asia. Crocuses were brought to North America by immigrants wanting plants from their homelands to decorate their new surroundings. Crocuses are a bulb plant, a perennial which means that they will grow each year, without much effort from the gardener-my kind of plant! The bulbs are planted in Autumn, and in late March in Missouri, that’s typically when the new flowers push up from the dirt, blooming for 3 weeks. When Spring gives way to Summer, the crocuses have faded but their bulbs are still working hard underground storing up food for next year’s blooms.
As I looked at these flowers with my son and neighbor boys, I thought how they truly are illustrations to that old adage, “Bloom where you’re planted.” No matter where you are in life, bloom where you’re planted…do what you can do with the talents and skills you were blessed with…serve others with those talents and skills, do your best the best you can and don’t worry about the work of the other folks around you. If they’re not blooming where they’ve been planted, that is their situation to figure out, not yours to stew and worry about.
These simple flowers also made me think about their existence. They are an intricately designed plant. They live the same life-cycle over and over every year. They live as they were created to live. They bring smiles to our Winter weary selves when we see them emerging from the cold ground, confidently reminding us that Spring is coming! Hang on! Winter will soon be gone! (As I type this, we are getting snow again in my part of Missouri-I see the fine flakes falling, covering our street and I have to wonder if an early release for school kids will be called as the rural roads in our area are very twisty, curvy, and many are dirt roads-combined with snow, not a fun drive for school buses or their drivers.)
All of my musings on the crocuses led me to further reflection that this time of year speaks of our Savior’s resurrection, also celebrated in the Spring each year. Currently, it is the Lenten Season. A time most famously known as a time to give up something. As Lent is growing in popularity among Prostestant denominations, and not just a “Catholic Thing” anymore, I am sometimes asked by my Protestant friends what is Lent all about? I answer it’s a time to focus more deeply on the great sacrifice Jesus made when he obeyed His Father’s will. To focus on how Jesus endured the lies told about him, accepted the guilty verdict the crowd in Jerusalem demanded even though the Roman appointed Governor, Pontius Pilate, knew Jesus was innocent. When Holy Week arrives, on that Thursday, focus on the Last Supper, actually a Passover meal, that Jesus partook of with his 12 disciples, which is recorded in the New Testament books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. On Good Friday, focus on the sufferings Jesus endured on the cross to which he was crucified. Then on Sunday, Easter, focus and rejoice in the resurrection: Jesus’ defeat of sin and death by coming back to life. His sacrifice, His willingness to take upon Himself all of the sins of the world-the sins of those who were living at that time and the sins of those who haven’t even been yet born. For those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, it means our sins are gone. It means God can welcome us into eternal life in Heaven. It means that there is much more than this earthly existance. It means we need to serve others in Jesus’s name and not cause others to doubt Him by our inactions or wrongheaded doings.
A lot of philosphical thoughts in my post today, I know, but that’s what can happen when one studies the beauty of crocuses blooming despite patches of snow still looming on the ground.