Growing up in the Kentucky Bluegrass, on a farm with room to run barefoot and free, I have memories of blowing dandelion “puffs” and making a wish. I loved those “weeds” and could not understand why people looking for the perfectly manicured lawn would do about anything to eradicate them! I thought they were beautiful yellow flowers scattered among the green blades of grass & once they turned to the characteristic white “puffball” they became a fun little game.
Did you know that each “puffball” contains as many as 200 seeds, each attached to a feather-like parachute to facilitate it’s travel with the breeze?! No wonder they spread so readily, frustrating homeowners and lending to google searches for “How to get rid of Dandelions in your yard?” and calls to Lawn-care Maintenance companies.
And did you know you can eat them?! There are TONS of recipes incorporating dandelions if you’re interested!? Fried, breaded Dandelions anyone? Dandelion Root Tea? Dandelion cookies?! Apparently there are countless health benefits to the “pesky weeds” as well.
But lets take this a little deeper…what do YOU see when you see a Dandelion? A weed? Beauty? Annoyance or frustration? Hope?
The image of the dandelion has become something much more to me over this past year or so as I really looked into what I wanted out of life. My focus had to shift. I found that I had become very pessimistic and honestly self absorbed (it is hard to type that but I feel it is necessary to admit). I struggled with seeing weeds instead of beauty, fear instead of hope, comparison rather than contentment. And I am still growing, struggling, learning. BUT what I had to decide was that I wanted my life to be truly fruitful, to give of myself so that when I look back I can see where I planted seeds and how they grew, what beauty came of God’s work in & through me and my family. This may be morbid but I envisioned if I died tomorrow, would I be okay with how I lived the years I was given? Would God be?
“Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it” (Luke 17:33). And what I have found through this journey of “losing ‘my’ life” is this: JOY. CONTENTMENT. FREEDOM. THRILL. When Luke 17:33 refers to “loses their life”, I believe it is merely referring to NOT living FOR oneself but rather as a tool for use by God, our Creator. That “HERE I AM LORD, I WILL GO LORD” mentality. The Message (MSG) version of that same verse translates as this: “If you grasp and cling to life on your terms, you’ll lose it, but if you let that life go, you’ll get life on God’s terms.” (Side note: for anyone new to reading the Bible, the Message translation is a great one to partner with your standard Bible translation, NIV etc, as The Message tries to recapture The Word in the words we use today, a contemporary translation. It has been a helpful tool for me.) So to sum it up in 4 words: “Your Life, God’s Way.” Living with Him in the driver’s seat. Total SURRENDER.
What if we all lived God’s best for our lives? Spread love? Spread hope? Spread encouragement? Imagine us all as one of those “puffballs”, with 200 seeds to plant in the lives of others. How would our world look today? Next time you see a Dandelion maybe you will stop and take a deep breath, blow, and think of how our lives could change if we chose to see a flower rather than an annoying weed.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)