Each lovely day with sunshine abounding I have been cutting back the dead stems on the potted plants hidden in the bushes and woods for protection this winter. Underneath the seemingly dead “stick-looking” stems is green…the most beautiful shades of green symbolizing the resurrection of life in each of these plants.
What is even more exciting is to find the first bloom among the green sprigs of life within the pots and planters. As in the title picture…I lovingly held this bloom softly upright for it to feel its first unobstructed taste of the light of the sun. “What a bold pioneer” I thought to myself…to take a chance on the unknown and lead the way for the others to follow.
Aren’t we, too, suppose to live life boldly…love boldly, laugh boldly, pray boldly, take leaps of faith boldly…while traveling our own path with no one to follow but our intuition and faith…making bold decisions along the way each and every day?
We are told in scripture to “Come boldly to the throne of grace.”
If we don’t live life boldly…then what? The only alternative is to live it rigidly and habitually narrowing our perimeters as much as possible through each stage of life…taking no chances…better safe than sorry… becomes our motto. “No changes” becomes our mantra. We might not like all the restrictions we have voluntarily placed on our lives but, still, isn’t it better staying put in the “known and expected” than in the “unknown and unexpected?”
In the Mitford series one of the residents tells Father Tim that he read “Lindbergh often flew with the windshield iced over.”
Don’t we all sometimes feel that we are going through life the same way…flying by the seat of our pants..sometimes blindly? Yet for Lindbergh… he saw this problem differently…he now had an opportunity to figure out exactly how low he needed to go… to fly to melt the ice. This situation was a welcome challenge in what might have been a boring flight. He had a chance to learn something new that might help save other pilots’ lives.
Max Lucado shares several open short stories on-line with readers…this one “The Cave People” originated from his book A Gentle Thunder (Thomas Nelson 1995)
*I think you will see the metaphor in this story for living life boldly, meeting changes with courage, and sharing the light.
The Cave People
by Max Lucado
He came to the world that was his own, but his own people did not accept him.
LONG AGO, OR maybe not so long ago, there was a tribe in a dark, cold cavern.
The cave dwellers would huddle together and cry against the chill. Loud and long they wailed. It was all they did. It was all they knew to do. The sounds in the cave were mournful, but the people didn’t know it, for they had never known joy. The spirit in the cave was death, but the people didn’t know it, for they had never known life.
But then, one day, they heard a different voice. “I have heard your cries,” it announced. “I have felt your chill and seen your darkness. I have come to help.”
The cave people grew quiet. They had never heard this voice. Hope sounded strange to their ears. “How can we know you have come to help?”
“Trust me,” he answered. “I have what you need.”
The cave people peered through the darkness at the figure of the stranger. He was stacking something, then stooping and stacking more.
“What are you doing?” one cried, nervous.
The stranger didn’t answer.
“What are you making?” one shouted even louder.
Still no response.
“Tell us!” demanded a third.
The visitor stood and spoke in the direction of the voices. “I have what you need.” With that he turned to the pile at his feet and lit it. Wood ignited, flames erupted, and light filled the cavern.
The cave people turned away in fear. “Put it out!” they cried. “It hurts to see it.”
“Light always hurts before it helps,” he answered. “Step closer. The pain will soon pass.”
“Not I,” declared a voice.
“Nor I,” agreed a second.
The stranger stood next to the fire. “Would you prefer the darkness? Would you prefer the cold? Don’t consult your fears. Take a step of faith.”
For a long time no one spoke. The people hovered in groups covering their eyes. The fire builder stood next to the fire. “It’s warm here,” he invited.
“He’s right,” one from behind him announced. “It’s warmer.” The stranger turned and saw a figure slowly stepping toward the fire. “I can open my eyes now,” she proclaimed. “I can see.”
“Come closer,” invited the fire builder.
She did. She stepped into the ring of light. “It’s so warm!” She extended her hands and sighed as her chill began to pass.
“Come, everyone! Feel the warmth,” she invited.
“Silence, woman!” cried one of the cave dwellers. “Dare you lead us into your folly? Leave us. Leave us and take your light with you.”
She turned to the stranger. “Why won’t they come?”
“They choose the chill, for though it’s cold, it’s what they know. They’d rather be cold than change.”
“And live in the dark?”
“And live in the dark.”
The now-warm woman stood silent. Looking first at the dark, then at the man.
“Will you leave the fire?” he asked.
She paused, then answered, “I cannot. I cannot bear the cold.” Then she spoke again. “But nor can I bear the thought of my people in darkness.”
“You don’t have to,” he responded, reaching into the fire and removing a stick. “Carry this to your people. Tell them the light is here, and the light is warm. Tell them the light is for all who desire it.”
And so she took the small flame and stepped into the shadows.
So until tomorrow…Don’t we see daily opportunities when we can step out of the shadows and bring light into another’s life? God is the “Father of Lights.”
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
*It’s “Peek-a-Boo” time in the garden for the new flowers/blooms arriving. (Little Big Red has one bud in the cluster about to take the leap!) And one camellia bush that has never bloomed before has produced these camellias…for beauty inside and out.