Hours and Flowers

ca-smmra-prickly-phlox-1We as people tend to think too much. I know I do and most of my friends and family do, too. On the one hand, this is a good thing as we can think things through carefully so we do the right things. On the other hand, thinking too much can be limiting and get in the way of our doing anything, let alone the right thing!

Especially when we worry. As Jesus says in Matthew 6:27-28, “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.”

Sometimes I find it refreshing to mediate on something in nature, especially flowers. I find that when I am photographing up close, when a flower fills my viewfinder, I am focused on more than a photograph. I am focused on beauty, on a wonder in God’s world, and I don’t think about too much else. The photo here is of a prickly phlox flower,  a plant of the chaparral of Southern California.

It is a small plant with beautiful flowers. Like all flowers, it doesn’t worry about being anything other than itself. This particular flower is jeweled with morning dew. It doesn’t have to “do” anything or worry about life or anything else. It simply is.

I find I am at my best when I simply “am”, accepting what and who I am as God has given me life. Oh, I know how easy it is to want to be or do something else, or I think I must accomplish something in order to feel good complete, but that tends to create anxiety and unease in my head. I really do have to remember things like flowers and the fact that they “accept” where they are at and can only be what they are. A prickly phlox cannot be anything else and there is nothing wrong with that. I really cannot add a single hour to my life by worrying about things that are not happening or going the way “I” think they should.

— Rob Sheppard