Spring has arrived mostly. I remain cautious about making any weather predictions. Some morning the temperature hovers around 30 degrees and snowflakes may be seen in the air.
My backyard looks very spring like, however, with daffodils in full bloom, Hosta poking up in the ground and trees beginning to show leaves.
Nature has many lessons to teach us. For example, no matter how technologically sophisticated our weather data and computers, no one can predict exactly the weather today or tomorrow or next week. Jesus himself said consider the lilies of the field.
We learn from nature that life, like the weather, is essentially unpredictable. I can’t predict whether the phone will ring the next moment, let alone what will happen tomorrow or the next day. We are constantly reacting to changes we have not been able to anticipate.
My son and his wife will soon deliver a baby boy. I think about this child and the life that lies ahead of him. Imagine, if he lives until he is eighty. By that time, I will be 150 years old. Geez. Also imagine all the changes he will see in his lifetime. I can’t begin to anticipate what he will experience in life or what the world will look like eighty years from now.
Each day I go around my backyard to check on the shrubs and perennials and trees I have planted over the years. Every spring I make a trip to Wallace’s Garden Center or Teske’s or Lowes to purchase plants that did not survive the winter. Despite my best intentions, careful research and weeding and watering, only half of what I plant may actually survive winter.
Nature teaches us life can be rough. Just check the obituary column each day. Some people pass away young, while others live to a ripe old age. Its impossible to anticipate cancer or heart disease or a car accident or anything else that cuts life short. That’s what nature teaches about life. No one receives a warranty at birth. We take our chances with everyone else.
Another truth I’ve noticed about nature is the infinite variety of plant life. Your yard may have daisies, roses, tulips, daffodils, zinnias, and the list of possible flowers just goes on and on. Every flower has its own unique characteristics and care requirements. No two are exactly alike.
It’s that way in life too. We all look different, act different and have unique gifts. No two people are exactly alike and there are seven billion human being on this planet. It takes great insight into human behavior to address everyone in the unique context of their life.
Some people like to say God has a plan. Lutherans say God has a purpose or a goal for us. We are not robots. I always think about war and the tragedy of the holocaust. Is that part of God’s plan? Makes no sense. God walks with us through this unpredictable life. God teaches us to be mentally agile and ready for all the turns and changes. Our faith guides us.
Enjoy this spring weather. Consider the lessons we learn. Let God walk with and instruct you through our study of nature.