Last spring, my children and I grabbed some packages of giant sunflower seeds at the hardware store and eagerly planted them around our country home. We were rewarded mid-summer by tall sturdy stalks, each bearing a mammoth bud preparing to unfold. As the children and I checked on these buds each day, I noticed a curious thing – the buds faced the sun as it rose in the east and then followed it across the sky until it set in the west. Strangely enough, every morning, the flower heads stood ready in their morning positions, again orientated to face the east.
Amazing! How could a sunflower bud be physically drawn to the sun and then faithfully follow it across the sky each day?
With the help of Google, I quickly educated myself on a scientific term called heliotropism, which is the scientific phenomenon of certain flowers following the sun across the sky. I learned that sunflowers in particular are known for this movement but only until they begin to bloom. Once the flower heads are fully mature and seed development begins, sunflowers generally remain facing east until they slowly droop downward from the weight of their seeds.
As I continued to check on my sunflower buds and curiously observed them following the sunlight provided by their Creator, I was compelled to think about my own heart:
What do I follow during the course of each day?
What ambition is my heart leaning toward?
Who or what do I keep my eyes focused on?
What pursuits is my mind turned to?
As my beautiful blooms opened in late-August, I was delighted with their beauty and challenged to keep my eyes and heart focused on our good and faithful heavenly Father who patiently waits to give all of us the wisdom and grace we need for each day.
Just last week, a friend called to tell me about a field nearby in which a farmer had planted nothing but rows and rows of sunflowers. I drove to it the same day and you can be sure it was a beautiful sight! Acres and acres of bold bright sunflowers for the entire community to enjoy, standing at attention, all facing the east!
Perhaps a reminder that collectively, as followers of Christ, our main job and principle task is to stay focused on things eternal. Rooted deeply in the Word of God and standing side-by-side in the fellowship of other believers, may we strive throughout each season of our lives to daily turn our faces to our life-giving Creator.
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