When I was little my best friend Tirzah and I were fascinated my Native Americans. I have know idea how this came about but we were hardcore tribe fanatics. We would braid our hair and put my mom’s blush all over our faces. When it was time to take the make-up off we scrubbed our faces so hard we couldn’t tell if our faces were red from the blush or from scrubbing. We tried to come up with our own Indian dialect, but we got about as far as our names. We fought over the name Sunflower. She claimed she said it first so she became Sunflower and I was Braids.
When I was in the second grade my older brother brought me into his fourth grade classroom after school. He had earned enough tickets from his class’s reward system to pick out a new book. It wasn’t my birthday or anything but he said I could pick one out. He opened his teacher’s closet and pulled out a basket with about twenty books in it. After I recovered from the shock of his generosity I started flipping through the books. I stopped when on the cover of one was two Indian girls in a field of sunflowers. Holy peace pipe! Two of my favorites. It was probably the highlight of my second grade year. I still have that book if it tells you anything.
Years later I still remembered the sunflower fort that the Indian girls had made in my book. I went in my parent’s backyard and planted a couple packets of sunflower seeds. I didn’t have a tiller sooo basically I planted them in a leaf pile (clearly I had no knowledge of gardening). I wanted to be able to tell where the rows were so I broke in-half several of those yellow wooden yardsticks and stuck them at the ends of the rows. When I was done with my hard work I told my dad I planted a garden. He looked out the back window and jokingly asked, “Are you growing yardsticks?” Yes. Yes, I was. That was about all that ever came of my sunflower garden.
I still like sunflowers. I have a running shirt that says, “Strong is the New Pretty.” I think that is what draws me to sunflowers. They’re strong but they’e also beautiful. Plus, sunflower seeds are pretty tasty on a salad. But the most fascinating attribute of a sunflower is how it turns its face to the sun. How does it know to turn it’s face to the sun for growth? I don’t the scientific explanation, but it’s because that’s how God designed it.
I feel like sunflowers are so much smarter than me. Okay, maybe not literally smarter. As
Christians we want to continue to grow but sometimes we forget to turn our face to the Son. Did you like that play on words? (excuse me as I chuckle to myself). It’s true though! Going to church is like being planted in a garden. Hopefully you’re at least planted in a garden of a church and not a leaf pile. In my garden I can listen to as many sermons, go to as many small group meetings, read as many Christian living books, and even read the Bible itself but if I’m not relying on God to change me then no real growth is going to happen. I feel like how my toddlers do when they’re trying to put on their shoes, “I can do it myself!” . . . but I can’t. The comforting thing is that God is always faithful. He’s not going to hide behind a cloud. He is waiting for us to turn to Him for strength. Don’t be like one of those sad looking sunflowers thats face droops to the ground as if its given up all hope. Strong is the new beautiful!
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” James 4:8
“Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” Isaiah 64:8
Dear God, I’m sorry for wanting to fix everything myself. Help me to rely on You for strength. As I seek your face continue to grow my faith in you.