Going beyond the obvious
May 10, 2006
Leading, like growing tulips, isn't easy. Leaders start out with a particular DNA, a journey that inevitably requires a kind of death. This is not unlike Jesus' line: Unless a seedling falls into the ground and dies, it doesn't reproduce or grow—followed then by sprouts overcoming the resistant soil, pushing into daylight, drawing in nutrients.
Recall the minister who stopped by his parishioner/farmer, and looking over the meticulously cared for field commented, "Isn't God's creation beautiful?"
"Yeh, I suppose," the farmer grunted, "but you should have seen it when he had it all to himself."
The gifting of God is not automatic. We've all seen tragic failures of those so gifted, yet by poor choices, crippling life experiences or laziness, fritter away life, leaving the bulb carelessly tossed aside in a corner of the garden.
To those who have much, much is required. My sense is it will sound rather hollow as we enter the Kingdom and, when asked for his return on investment, mutter, "Well, I was persecuted; I ran out of energy; I felt insecure; I couldn't make up my mind; no one would listen." Blooming calls for daily, conscious choices.
Tulip Maker, Fashioner of the imago Dei, this creation is of your doing. Help me see what too is of my doing. So in the course of this day, I'll not let the wish of the bulb to return to Turkey override the need to bloom where planted. Amen.
Like a lot of beautiful things, tulips inspire malfeasance, and they take a lot of work to maintain. Careless people pick them. Mice, rats, voles, skunks, squirrels and deer eat them. Even in Holland, they need a lot of human intervention to thrive, because they'd rather be on a rocky mountainside in Turkey, where they come from.