I’ve been wondering lately about the familiar phrase, “Bloom where you are planted.” I like it, at least the idea of blooming. But what I know about our lives of faith and the ways of God is this: both are often entirely unpredictable. Living as spiritual beings is less like being seeds planted and more like being seeds blown by the wind.
Here’s another familiar phrase from the Gospel of John 3:8: “The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Do you know how many seeds, even those meant for planting, actually end up getting blown somewhere else entirely? Me neither, but in my gardening days, I learned this: where seeds will land is always somewhat unpredictable. Even that little green seed dispenser often doesn’t work! Perhaps there’s some divine strategy behind the unpredictability of it all: the very ebb and flow of God’s creation depends on the wind to blow seeds all over this big world.
Dandelion seeds taking flight with a child’s simple breath; maple tree seeds fluttering to a landing often not where a homeowner might like; pine cones ending up in the cracks of rock. None of these are planted with any precision at all. Yet the miracle of growth is the seed’s ability to bloom where it is…blown.
And so it is, Jesus says, with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” To be “born again,” as Jesus suggests in this beautifully mysterious phrase, we must be willing to embrace life anew, each time the Spirit moves us. And we do so because the eternal purposes God has for us begin in this lifetime. None of us have certainty of life on earth for a predictable amount of time. So the call from Jesus is this: “bloom where you are blown by the Spirit.” Use every moment to celebrate God at work in your life. Take every transition as an opportunity to discover something new about Jesus’ love. Make something beautiful of this life while you have it: bloom as the beautiful part of God’s creation you are!
And of course, Jesus also calls us to be ready for wherever the Spirit-winds blow us next. May we be born again and again into God’s eternal love. Amen!