I was playing tennis on a cool spring afternoon when little girl strolled up the sidewalk, dismounted her bike, and began ritually examining each flower growing along the fenced tennis courts. I was captivated. She carefully navigated each bush, bent her helmeted head close, and drew in the aroma of flower after flower. It was as though each flower of the same kind had a distinctly different scent from its neighbor. There were wars being fought somewhere else in the world, numerous horrors to mourn, but this little girl in her pretty spring dress and bicycle helmet made sure that the flowers were not neglected.
Later I noticed a little boy standing with his face pressed against the chain link fence, eyes following every bounce of the tennis ball, every swing of our rackets. He then walked slowly past the same flower bushes and was soon inside the gate watching my friend and I play tennis. We were imminently interesting until he was distracted by the careless flutter of a Monarch butterfly dancing through the light breeze. He immediately gave chase!
Bouncing all the way, arms extended, the boy followed the butterfly outside the gate until it settled on a nearby bloom. With cat-like prowess he made his silent approach moving ever closer until he was just near enough to yell, “Got ya!” Of course, he missed the butterfly, but this did not discourage him. The little boy of high adventure followed the butterfly from flower to flower creeping and yelling until they were both out of sight.
This may be just what Jesus meant when He took the child onto His lap and told His disciples they must be like one of these. The things I do not have and long for often mar the enjoyment of today. Sometimes I become so concerned with today’s duties or tomorrow’s demands that I fail to slow down, stop, and smell the flowers. At the site of children playing I was reminded that there are such things as flowers and butterflies and simple childlike pleasures.
Perhaps God has made flowers for just such experiences and given us butterflies for this particular pleasure. He created a world that is beautiful to see and wonderful to smell, a world with music in the air. Then He gave us curiosities that draw us into his creation so that we might glorify Him for what He made.
What I don’t understand is why, with all He has given, I am satisfied to live on the memory and the knowledge of how a flower smells. I live as though the purpose of flowers and butterflies is science and not joy and worship. Yes, worship.
My awe for the Maker of All Things deepens with every flower I smell, grows with every butterfly I chase. Besides, I am told I must be as this little girl and this little boy who knew so well how to enjoy all that God has made. I am told by Christ to “consider the lilies”—and so I shall.
Luke 12:27, Luke 18:17
Copyright(C)2007 Hudson Russell Davis