Archive for June, 2017

Hope: Going to Seed

June 24, 2017

dandelion-flowers1My youngest daughter loves dandelions, particularly in two different stages. There is the blooming stage, when it can be applied like makeup to her face, and to the poor unsuspecting dog. And then the most fascinating stage when it goes to seed and just begs for children everywhere to blow the seed to all the neighboring lawns. When I hear the phrase, “going to seed,” I think that is the end of something. But what if we reversed that? What if the end is really the beginning?

In Christianity there are lots of reversals. In creation, a “day” begins at sundown, “And there was evening, then morning – the first day” (Gen 1:5). Jesus says, “The last will be first and the first will be last” (Matthew 20:16). So, when I think of hope as defined in Christianity I think the same metaphor applies.

Hope is sometimes defined as a wish like, “I hope I win the lottery,” or “I hope it doesn’t rain today.” There isn’t a lot invested in it, and the outcome, though disappointing, is not of great despair. However, this type of hope will not sustain you in crisis and adversity. And when I come to the end of my life, or just the end of a life-stage, this definition of hope leads only to depression, gloom and well, hopelessness.

4005f6afce37a7bdf7ade0c3677497ffWhen we hope, we are looking toward the future. But what happens as we age and “who I am” is more “what I was?” I think back to that dandelion in my daughter’s hand. I see her reach for the yellow ones, brushing them lightly upon her cheek. She chases the dog to rub the yellowy powder into her furry face. In a couple weeks, she will be just as happy to go out when those blooms she didn’t pick have turned to white seeds.

I think some of us believe life is at its best when in bloom. We can’t wait to grow: from shoot to bud then bloom. But we aren’t so attracted to the seed stage. We pick flowers right before they blossom for our loved ones and dry them to cherish their memory before they wilt too far. But what if in the end is the beginning? What if evening is the beginning of the new day? What is the last is the first?

o-grandparent-and-grandchildren-facebookSee, a flower, “blooms where its planted.” But the dandelion seed has the greatest adventure dancing upon the traces of the wind looking down from the sky to find a new green place to color with patches of gold. Do not despair. Have hope. The best is yet to come. When you come to the end of something see the beginning that will sprout from it. The potential in your seed outweigh the beauty of your once perfect bloom. When you feel that you are more defined but what you were think of the dandelion and have hope. A flower’s job is to make the next season brighter.

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