Wisdom of a Christmas Cactus:despite being seasonally incorrect

IMG_2615As I go about my daily tasks, my eyes feast on a riot of colorful foliage. The sounds of whirling leaves cascading to the ground and the crisp crackle of them under foot is a delight to my senses. And yet I find that the general climate of conversation is less appreciative than apprehensive. More often than not my comment on the beautiful day is countered by “Yeah but: winter’s coming, it’s getting dark so early, I hate the cold that’s coming, or worst of all – Christmas will be here before we know it.” While I sympathize with the loss of the balmy summer light and warmer temperatures, it got me wondering about our appreciation of today.

This was brought home to me this morning as I happened to glance at the Christmas cactus relegated to a corner table that I have mostly ignored for months. Instead of the usual boring dull green foliage weeping over the pot there were miraculously bright pink buds!   This plant suddenly (and totally without my help or notice) was coming to life right before my eyes despite the rest of the world dying around it. It did not care that it is a season of decay and packing our bags for another season, it was going to bloom! This plucky little plant was also clearly not restricted by the human expectation that since it was dubbed a “Christmas” cactus is should at least have the courtesy to hold back from flowering until at least December 1st!

Perhaps this simple plant has much to teach us about letting go of the world’s expectations and ourselves to bloom whenever and however we feel like no matter what the rest of the world is doing.

I confess to getting wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the seasonal changes. There is much to do to prepare for winter. However my “Halloween” cactus reminds me that we can bloom right in the midst of what is going on in our worlds or in spite of it. What ways have I held back a bloom because of others’ expectations or seasons? Why not bloom right now? Why are we waiting for Christmas? or the New Year?, or after the election? Why not bloom right in the midst of it – just because!   Imagine how more beautiful, fascinating and fulfilling our life and the world would be if we just bloomed willy nilly whenever and however God prompted us to.  Perhaps we would be less concerned about what is coming next and more able to appreciate and give thanks for all of God’s miracles and blessings right now.

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19

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