Seeds of Change
“Take a selfie with a sunflower.”
A friend of mine made this request last week as payment for a camping trip. He wouldn’t accept money, but instead, a selfie with a sunflower. I laughed at first and began thinking about where I might find one. I instantly remembered the field not far from home and headed out to complete this request. When I drove up to the field I was greeted by the bent over backs of these once magnificent flowers. They had begun going to seed, and many of the pedals were wilted or already gone. I looked over the field and saw many people wandering among the back half.
This half was still standing tall and yellow. This half was facing the sun, ready for a bright new day.
For a second, I paused, thinking “should I go back over there too?” But I suddenly stopped myself. Instead I decided that these original flowers needed a little bit more love. Although they didn’t look as “perfect” they were headed into an even more beautiful stage of life. When they shed their seeds.
I thought about this for a while, and I was overwhelmed with a sense of calm joy. These flowers weren’t “in their prime” but they were beautiful none the less and I couldn’t stop smiling as I captured that selfie.
I drove away in awe. This summer I’ve been focusing on hearing God’s voice in nature. Hearing it among this incredible creation that surrounds us. There is so much beauty in the bright colours, tall trees, and fields of flowers. But this field reminded me of why I love the fall so much more than summer. The fall, when colours begin to turn, when pedals are shed, when plants go to seed. To me the fall represents the sacrifice Jesus made for us. He knew He needed to die to make room for new beauty to form. He had served his purpose and given people a glimpse of how beautiful life can be. He left people in awe and wasn’t scared of what the next season had in store.
It’s interesting to me how often people get stuck in the “picture perfect” moments, “picture perfect” seasons, “picture perfect” memories. But I wonder how often our focus shifts? How often do we choose to focus on the beauty beyond the picture perfect? How often are we reminded that something beautiful needs to end, for more beauty to form? How often do we thank God for all the seeds, instead of only seeing beauty in the perfect flower?
These seeds represent new life. These seeds represent another chance. These seeds represent change.
These seeds are scary, but their potential is beyond beautiful when you begin to see it.
For a long time I had convinced myself I was that bright yellow sunflower. I would stand tall, shine bright, and turn my face towards the sun as I looked forward to a new day. This worked for a while, but eventually I felt myself begin to bend. It wasn’t easy to be so bright and happy all the time. It wasn’t easy because it’s not what we were created to be. It’s not natural to be “picture perfect” all the time.
Then something amazing happened in my life. God showed me that I could let go. He whispered, “this season needs to end, but I have bigger things in store for you.” He allowed me to shed my pedals and revealed the most beautiful seeds that I had never noticed before. Seeds that He had planted within me, waiting and wishing that I would allow them to fall.
The sunflower never resists this change. It embraces the bends, the wilted pieces, the loss of perfection.
I believe this is what Jesus does for us. He reveals that there is beauty inside of us that shouldn’t be hidden beneath a wall of external perfection. He allowed me to recognize that I needed to stop striving to be bright and sunny all the time. He showed me that I needed to bend, maybe even break, so that I could shed the pieces that were no longer needed. So I could make room for all the seeds He had planted in me.
This sunflower field brought me back to a time in my life when I resisted change. When I resisted all the good things that were right there inside of me. But it also reminded me of what it felt like when I was finally able to let go of that not so perfect part of me. When I was able to start shedding my seeds and watching them bloom into something so much bigger.
This is what God wants for us. He doesn’t want us to hold on so tight to the appearance of perfection. He wants us to let go and make room for more.
There are seasons of life that are bright and sunny, where we stand tall and it’s easy to see the beauty, but I believe we were meant for so much more. I believe the most beautiful parts of life exist within the seasons of change. The seasons that aren’t easy. The seasons that bend us just enough to see the beauty underneath. The seasons that remind us we already have everything we need, right inside of us.
Like a seed inside a sunflower, God is creating beauty in the places our eyes don’t always wander.
He sees us in these seasons, even if we are struggling to see Him.
Does a dying flower bring tears to your eyes?
I think it’s time we all stop looking so hard.
Close your eyes, and open your heart, you might just see it too.