A few weeks ago my 4-year-old daughter came home from school and asked if we could plant a flower. She had learned that day about how plants grow and was beyond excited to watch one grow herself. We went to the store, and I found an extra small pot with a couple of sunflower seeds included. So we brought it home, planted the seed, and began to wait. My daughter became frustrated when the seeds we had planted did not immediately grow before her eyes and became disinterested – until several days later when we could see a tiny sprout start to emerge from the dirt. After growing a few inches, it was time to transplant into a bigger pot. The roots had run out of room, and it needed space to grow. What I didn't expect through this ordinary process is that God met me while watching this tiny plant. He used a tiny sunflower sprout to show me areas where I needed to change and grow. Something God showed me about myself is that I am scared of being deeply rooted. I've made friends, I've invested time and energy, but it's always been easy for me to pick up and leave. It's almost comforting to me to think of moving away and starting over. Staying still means someone might know me too well. Someone might see the ugly parts of my soul. Someone might notice my shortcomings and failures. They might see who I really am. I romanticize the idea of moving far away and meeting new people and reinventing myself. I want these perfect relationships and communities, and when it doesn't look exactly the way I want, I tend to run and get disinterested. Just like my daughter did when she saw no growth in her sunflower. Through the sunflower plant God taught me two important things.
- Roots need time to grow.
- Roots need space to grow.