Thursday, April 24, 2008
I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden. ~Ruth Stout
Around the perimeter of Cornerstone there is a hedge that fences-in the campus along the two streets that corner it, big and busy 223rd street and the smaller Meyler Street. The hedge is thick and green and about 4 feet high. However, between the hedge and the church building itself, there is a long row of African Iris plants. They were planted there several years ago -- before there was a hedge -- by my late Uncle Everett. With the expansive growth of the hedge, the smaller plants are now mostly unseen and unnoticed – almost as if they were in a private or secret garden.
Right now, those “hidden” African Irises are in full bloom with large white flowers reaching toward the sky. My wife Karlene lamented that it is a shame that no one is really getting to enjoy the beautiful blooms, because of the location of the plants. She even took my administrative assistant, Cielito, out to the west side of the church campus, so that she would get to view the special, yet secret, floral show.
Those flowers are not blooming for my personal enjoyment, though they are beautiful to behold. They are blooming for the benefit of their Creator. They are reaching up toward Him, fulfilling their purpose, no matter who is or isn’t noticing.
Nature preaches and teaches much better than I could ever hope to. And as I looked at the blossoming floral array that was tucked-away along the side of our church, I got the message. Was it a Springtime message? Not really. It was more of a mankind message – or a message just to me.
The lesson of the “hidden” flowers... They bloom regardless of their location. They bloom no matter who is watching – no matter who can see them. They bloom because they are alive. They bloom because that is what they were created to do. They bloom and bring beauty to their surroundings and give glory to their Creator.
Many people are like those “hidden” flowers. Serving God and His kingdom in seeming anonymity. Far removed from the eyes of the general public. Away from any recognition that a high-profile position would bring their way. Yet they go about their business with the best that they have to offer. Providing a beauty and a fragrance that is many times overlooked or unnoticed.
However, they are not looking for the limelight or seeking publicity. They are simply doing what God created them -- and called them -- to do. They are God’s handiwork -- serving the Lord with gladness. Fulfilling their purpose without much, if any, fanfare here on earth, but know this, they are being acknowledged in heaven.
In Ephesians 2:10, Paul states “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works…” So keep blooming. Keep on blossoming. Keep on doing what God created you to do. Come rain or shine, accolades or indifference, keep bringing glory to Jesus Christ with your life.
Remember, you’re performing for an audience of One.