Yesterday Gretchen and I watched a man walking down the street throwing beautiful bunches of colorful petals on the ground as he walked along. We both gasped and said – What a waste! Why would he throw those on the ground? We could use them!
They were just petals. Detached from the stem, no longer alive. They were scattered on the ground as we watched people step on them, crunching the soft pieces into the concrete.
And yet the pretty flash of color caught our eye and made us feel like we needed to gather them up, save them, hold onto them as if they were special.
I keep thinking about how often we run after flashes of color throughout our days that end up being lifeless petals, remnants of what was, detached from the true vine that brings joy. Scripture tells us that the things of this world will fade and wither, but our longing in the moment can feel inescapable when we start to believe the allure with last.
I’ve done this more times than I can count. I’ve tried the latest diet that promises I can drop 15 pounds in 7 days and eat brownies and not work out. I’ve cut my hair to feel adventurous, I’ve gone shopping to feel content, I’ve spent countless hours scrolling to escape the stress of real life before my eyes. I’ve napped instead of trying again. I’ve thrown myself into being the best wife and keeper of the home, hoping the value and love of my husband would carry me through a dry season.
The temporary things in life offer happiness but they are just blips of color, flashes of hope that are here to day and gone tomorrow.
They are pretty while they last, but they inevitably and always fade.
What if our souls really longed for something more than the temporary satisfaction of that flash of color? What if we wanted something deeper? More lasting. More intimate. More alive.
What if we decide to chase after the streams of living water that we find only in Jesus Himself? The true Vine. Who doesn’t fade or wither. Who can’t be trampled and never fades. The one lasting source of life that brings joy and contentment that nothing and no one could ever offer. He’s the ultimate Gardener, never allowing His flowers to fade or slip from His grasp. And He invites us to come and walk with Him in the garden of life He’s created for His children.
I don’t want to spend my life gathering up the memories of petals on the sidewalk when I’ve been offered an entire garden, overflowing with life and color and good fruit that brings life to the soul and light to the eyes.