Growing Where You Are

Have you ever seen flowers sprouting from some imposing rock face or weeds finding their way to the sun in the middle of the tarmac? Meandering beside any sandy, salty shore, you are bound to find seagrass. It always amazes me. Here is the most inhospitable environment: the soil is wrong, the water is wrong, there is often no shade, and, frequently, the weather is extreme. Yet, the seagrass grows, thrives even. The subheading under the name of my blog is Thriving In A Hostile Terrain. It seems odd to juxtapose beautiful flowers with such a title, but that’s precisely what heather does. In fact, I hated my name until my mother explained that it was a delicate flower which thrived in hostile terrain. I embraced it after I saw how well it represented my life.

Marveling at the seagrass this morning as I walked my dog, I got to thinking about how important it is to grow where you are. Sometimes we may look around and feel there is nothing to work with. I think we need to get in touch with our inner MacGyver. There is a lot to be said for working with what you have. Some years ago, my daughter was in a program called DI – Destination Imagination, an offshoot of Odyssey of the Mind from my generation. During each meeting, the kids were given challenges to make something with the materials that had been provided to them. It was amazing to see them work together to create something amazing. A lot of that is missing thee days – everything now is so easy. If you don’t know how: there’s an app for that. If you can’t do this: there’s an app for that too. Gone are the days of trial and error for a large number of tasks you might find yourself needing to do.

I think it’s a loss.

Figuring it out on your own; using only what you have; and, failing again and again without giving up are valuable experiences. They teach us how to grow where we are. The true test of a person isn’t whether he or she can blossom in a Miracle-Gro fertilized, manicured raised-bed. The proof of greatness is whether we can thrive when tossed onto sandy, undernourished, toxic areas and still manage to become what we were destined to be.

1 Peter 4:10  “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”

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