Are you a sun worshipper of follower?
Self-Reliant Group facilitator, Laura Walton, is inspired by a sunflower.
A lone sunflower stands tall in my garden. It has survived neglect, vicious attack by grubs, being buffeted by strong winds and lashed at repeatedly by the cold July rain. Yet it has survived. It faces the sun, its source of growth and resilience and from which it takes its name. An inadequately undersized bamboo stick supports most of its body but not the upper section of its graceful neck and beautiful face, which is left untethered and free to follow and draw strength from the sometimes elusive sun. Or free to be snapped at by sudden angry gusts.
But I want to see it when I wash my pots. I want to turn its pot to face my window and be cheered by its face first thing in the morning when full of sleep and restless dreams, I fill my kettle. But then how long before it loses its brilliance, its petals lose their vitality and the flower begins to blend in with the fading beauty of the suburban garden?
And so it is with the Christian faith. For many of us through Lockdown, Church has been online, a lifeline to some, a data impossibility for others and a technical nightmare for more than just a few. For some, Lockdown has and still is a time of disconnection from Christian families. A time of experiencing alternative church services all over the country, the world but belonging to none. A time of losing vitality, fading and being turned away from the one who maintains our health and encourages our growth.
We know that God never turns away from us, no matter what we’ve done or not done. We know he always gives us freedom to lead our own lives and to choose to follow him and be sustained by him. He never forces, frightens or intimidates. He invites and he waits patiently for us to put our lives before him and then to form that loving, everlasting relationship which guides and provides for us and restores us in beauty and in strength.
So I will not turn the pot. I will enjoy the sunflower in its connection to the sun where it is flourishes. And I will ask God to restore my strength and my vitality in Him and choose to be connected to my Maker and follow him through these ever changing days.