Monday, April 6, 2009
Outside my kitchen and dining room windows is a cherry tree. Towards the end of last week, it seemed the tree exploded into blossom. I have been watching it closely for the past few weeks and I am inspired by the tree. For months it has been barren. No leaves ... just brown bare sticks reaching for the sky.
About a month ago, little woody buds appeared. As I watched, they grew a little bigger. I went off to New York for a week and when I came home a week ago Sunday, they were no longer little woody buds, but tight pink ones. Last Tuesday, I looked at the tree and 3 cherry blossoms had unfolded. Two days ago, the blossoms exploded on the tree. I heard them ... Bang! Bang! BOOM! (that was a whole spray ...) BANG! The noise was thunderous and woke me from slumber. Seriously ... of course I didn't hear them, but they did pretty much burst open on most of the tree over 2 days.
This beautiful cherry tree is an encouragement to me in the process of change. Let's look at that. If you know nothing about trees, you would assume that all the action occurred this past week. Growth is not like that. I often tell my kids that learning is a slow, almost inperceptable process. Change is ongoing and slow. Little steps add up to big ones. It seems nothing is happening but when you look over a long period you see tremendous change. The trick is being faithful in the small things and having faith in the process.
I liken it to running. As part of my road to health and wellness, I have turned a corner from surgery recovery and am able to start exercising again. In some ways it is exciting and other ways, downright discouraging. Several years back I got myself going really well on eating and exercise. I lost 15 kilos without dieting, just being mindful about my eating and making sure I exercised regularly. In addition, I got myself to where I was regularly running 5k runs. Exercise has never been a positive thing for me. I am not coordinated or sporty and don't enjoy it. However I worked at it and I was proud of my achievement. I kept the weight off (with the exception of 2.5 kilos) for several years. I kept the weight off when I got sick. However, the last 2 years I have been really unwell and survival has been the name of the game. I was struggling to have the energy to work and had none whatsoever for exercise. After my surgery I gained 6 kilos and was over my "I never want to be over that again" weight. Horrible. A whole pile of clothes did not fit and I know how hard I worked to lose that weight.
Last week I turned a corner in my health and felt I could start working out at the gym. So, I downloaded a couch - 5k running plan. In 10 weeks I hope to be back to running 5k runs. I am on week two. I could be discouraged about being all the way back at the beginning, having to do the hard yards but I learnt things from the last time. Be faithful in the small things. Make the time, follow the programme, push that little bit harder and small steps, will add up to big ones. When the scales are awful, when I feel yuk about my body and think nothing is happening, it is. Like the cherry, changes are going on in my body. My heart is getting healthier, my bones are getting stronger, I am building muscle and before I know it ... if I stay faithful in the little things ... BOOM! BANG! BOOM! the fruit will explode open and changes will be seen.
The cherry tree is also a great analogy for our spiritual lives. I challenge myself when I look at it. I am feeling a little distant with God at the moment. Not feeling like there is a lot of fruit in my life. BUT ... if I am faithful in the small things. If I am faithful in meeting with him, connecting, studying my bible, being transformed by the renewing of my mind ... BOOM! BANG! BOOM ... the fruit will come.
Be encouraged. If you are frustrated with the rate of change in areas in your life ... hang in ... be faithful to the process and be faithful in the small things ... BOOM ... BANG! BOOM. There will be fruit. It's a spiritual law. You sow ... you will reap!