By Rev. Dr. Linda Hollies
We have entered into the season of spring. May Day was a fun time in my childhood. Do you remember wrapping the ribbons around the May Pole?
Mother’s Day is this month. We will pause and salute the Motherhood Councils who helped us to grow by investing their lives in ours! The sun will shine brighter this month. The South Winds will blow more warm weather our way. This is a month when many little buds will open and too many of us will miss the joy and the beauty that God sends our way! So, this lesson comes to ask you to PLEASE slow down and to look at the postcards that God sends our way this month. Delight in your own garden, your own yard, or your neighbors efforts to assist God in nurturing beauty with their plants, flowers and trees. Take the time to see beauty and as "they" say, to smell the roses along your way. I guarantee you that it will renew you and bring joy to your heart, mind and spirit.
The memory verse for this first Sunday says, "For I want you to know my brothers and my sisters that the gospel I preached is not something that any human made up…I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ." (Galatians 1:11-12) The changing seasons are not due to the "green thumbs" that we endeavor to use, but rather they are the providential gifts of a loving Creator who sustains the seasons, world wide. What a revelation of God’s love we can see in this season of spring. But, we must have willing spirits and open eyes to see, to receive and to appreciate.
A preaching sista-friend, Pastor Fran Manning, of New Hope Baptist Church in Hackensack, New Jersey, sent me the following story that drives home my point of our seeing God’s love revealed, if we dare to look. May it bless you, may it encourage you and may it bring some inspiration to your own daily journey through this season. Remember, I’m praying for and with you as we continue the journey together!
" Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, "Mother, you must come see the daffodils before they are over." I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead. "I will come next Tuesday", I promised, a little reluctantly, on her third call.
The next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and so I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn’s house and hugged and greeted my grandchildren, I said, "Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in the clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see bad enough to drive another inch!" My daughter smiled calmly and said, "We drive in this all the time, Mother." "Well, you won’t get me back on the road until it clears, and then I’m heading for home!" I assured her.
"I was hoping you’d take me over to the garage to pick up my car" "How far will we have to drive?" "Just a few blocks," Carolyn said. "I’ll drive. I’m used to this. After several minutes, I had to ask, "Where are we going? This isn’t the way to the garage!" "We’re going to my garage the long way," Carolyn smiled, "by way of the daffodils." "Carolyn," I said sternly, "please turn around." "It’s all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience."
After about twenty minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road, and I saw a small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand lettered sign that read, "Daffodil Garden." We got out of the car and each took a child’s hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path. Then, we turned a corner of the path, and I looked up and gasped!
Before me lay the most glorious sight. It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it down over the mountain peak and slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns-great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, saffron, and butter yellow. Each different-colored variety was planted as a group so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue. There were five acres of flowers, beautiful daffodils!
"But who has done this?" I asked Carolyn. "It’s just one woman," Carolyn answered. "She lives on the property. That’s her home." Carolyn pointed to a well kept A-frame house that looked small and modest in the midst of all that glory. We walked up to the house On the patio, we saw a poster. "Answers To The Questions That I Know You Are Asking" was the headline.
The first answer was a simple one. "50,000 bulbs," it read.
The second answer was, "One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and very little brain."
The third answer was, "Began in 1958."
There it was, The Daffodil Principle.
For me, that moment was a life-changing experience. I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than forty years before, had begun-one bulb at a time-to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountaintop. Still, just planting one bulb at a time, year after year, had changed the world. This unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. She had created something of ineffable (indescribable) magnificence, beauty, and inspiration.
The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration. That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time–often just one baby-step at a time–and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We too can change the world.
"It makes me sad in a way," I admitted to Carolyn. "What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal 35 or 40 years ago and had worked away at it ‘one bulb at a time’ through all those years? Just think what I might have been able to achieve!"
My daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way. "Start tomorrow," she said. "It’s so pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make learning a lesson of celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask, "How can I put this to use today?"
So, stop waiting…
For graduation again
Until you find a job
Until you get married
Until you buy your first home
Until you have children
Until your car or home is paid off
Until you get a new car or home
Until your kids leave the house
Until you go back to school
Until you finish school again
Until you lose 10 lbs.
Until you gain 10 lbs.
Until you get a divorce
Until you retire
Until you die
There is no better time than right now to be happy. Happiness is a journey, not a destination." My Friends, begin today to look for the daffodils. And, why not plant a few along the way, yourself? On the journey with ya! Shalom! Sista Linda
Let’s live holy; laugh often; and let’s love with flair and with extravagance!
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Saving Sisters, one woman at a time! Join us! Shalom!