About 5 years ago my two young sons decided they wanted a “strawberry farm”. I was raised in the country, with the accent and a few scars to prove it, and I know a little bit about farming. So, I hopped on the internet and ordered a bundle of 25 strawberry plants. They arrived in short order, we planted them in small pots, then placed those pots in a wagon for safekeeping until they were large enough to be planted in the ground. We had ourselves a strawberry farm!
Once potted the strawberry plants grew quickly as did grass and weeds. One afternoon while watering the plants I explained to the boys why we needed to pull the grass and weeds out of the pots the strawberries were growing in. Grass and weeds are good for nothing!
The boys worked their way through the pots pulling out the unwanted guests and finished in short order. Except for one pot. Growing in one pot along with the strawberry plant was a green sprout a little taller than the rest. They wanted to leave it. I told them it was just a weed. Good for nothing, remember? I recall the response vividly, “can we just leave it and see how big it gets”? Sure, why not. Our strawberry farm now contained 25 strawberry plants…… and 1 weed.
As the days went by our strawberry plants grew as did our weed. Driving in from work one day I glanced at the wagon parked by the privacy fence and did a double take. Turns out our weed wasn’t a weed after all, it was a flower. I stopped and took a picture.
Consider this……. That flower was not a flower that someone intentionally planted in a flower bed, in front of a nice house, with other flowers of it’s kind, to be admired by others. Nope. It was an errant discarded seed from who knows where, that sprouted among strawberries, in a plastic cup, packed into an old wagon, halfway down a drive way, beside a fence……. but it bloomed anyway
Also, consider the odds for this single seed…… Arriving from who knows where. Ending up in a cup of potting soil. Spared by the farmer instead of being pulled up and cast out. Blooming in a place where a grown man lives that will actually stop his vehicle and get out to take a picture of an errant flower growing in a wagon. Then one day dust off that picture and write a story about it to relay the power, the necessity, of blooming wherever you are planted. In reality, what…..are…..those……odds? They are incalculable. But, here you are reading that story.
The worst thing you can do with your life is to spend it worrying about what other people are going to think of you for sharing the gift you have been given. Not that it could have but theoretically speaking, that flower didn’t look around and say, wrong time, wrong place, wrong audience. It just bloomed, right where it was planted. It made a difference then and 5 years down the road it’s work is still being divided today.
If you are waiting for the right time, right place, right audience you will wait forever. Offer your best work now, on a consistent basis, in spite of the evidence, then watch the evidence begin to change. Have some faith.
Get in the Boat. Do your part.
1:6 / Nose to Toes / #16