We have all heard the latest… that we are in this for the long haul. And just as I was ready to run shrieking down the street in frustration (with my mask on of course), I was stopped in my tracks by an unexpected surprise. Many months ago I wrote about my rather independent Christmas cactus that thrives on only occasional, very occasional, attention. At that writing, and much to my dismay, it had insisted on blooming in October rather than being seasonally correct. After all it is called a “Christmas” cactus not a Halloween cactus! I thought that it was done for the year, only to have it bloom again at Christmastide. Who knew? Again thinking that surely that was the last of its impudence, you can imagine my shocked surprise when I noticed that this intrepid cactus bloomed again this morning – right in the middle of my pity party! Seriously? I couldn’t believe it!!
This wild and quirky cactus interrupted my despair with a singular act of incredible beauty. Nobody asked it to, and I certainly did nothing to help it. Who would have guessed? Perhaps it was reminding me of something that I had completely forgotten. That God creates beauty, miracles, wonderment, and delight always – even in the midst of a world pandemic. Who knew? Later as I was walking the dog and yes, I admit I was grumbling a bit, I was interrupted by the sight of a giant vibrant yellow dandelion growing miraculously smack dab in the center of a tree cleft. The dark black trunk and evening sun made it pulsate with color. Who knew?
It set me to wondering about what other wonderful sights, sounds, and smells God had flung around for me to enjoy. Aahh the sweet songs of spring birds, the brilliant colors of their feathers, the smell of the fresh grass, and sight of all the spring bushes and flowers just bursting with blooms. Suddenly the world did not seem to be such a scary, diminished place. I just needed to adjust my focus. Instead of ruminating about all the things I couldn’t do and all the what if’s of the future, I was free to enjoy all of the good things that God had set out for me to enjoy on this day.
A little cactus with a big attitude, surely helped me refocus mine. So what if we are in this for the long term? So what if things will not be the same as before when we get to the other side of this pandemic?
I don’t have to ruminate about it. Jesus was quite clear about worrying. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:24 and the prophet Isaiah “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Who knew that I would be surprised? Who knew that God has amazing blessings and gifts for us, not just when the pandemic is over, but every day and every hour of every day while we are in the midst of it – whether we are paying attention or not?
Thanks little cactus! Now I know. Maybe I should go get my watering can…