I remember walking down the street way back in October, and men were vigorously at work, removing the top layer of soil beneath the trees on Park Avenue in New York City. I asked them what they were planting. One worker dug his hand into large green plastic bag and lifted a handful of bulbs.
Those bulbs were nourished by soil, frozen by winter’s cold, heated by spring’s sun, and moistened by water. As I walk down the streets today, six months later, I see the yellow fruits of nature’s labor blowing in the wind: hundreds of slanted daffodils bringing beauty, hope, and joy to countless pedestrians and drivers.
The scene reminds me of the poem, “The Daffodils,” by William Wordsworth, which my teacher assigned me to memorize when I was in third grade:
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils
Yes, I am a witness to the beauty that a crowd of daffodils can provide. Much like the speaker on his couch, as I write this blog at my table and envision the scene on the Avenue, I am reminded of Wordsworth’s daffodil joy.
I am also reminded of a biblical truth that David so poetically conveys in Psalms 1 where he compares the blessed person to a “tree planted by rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its season. Its leaf also shall not wither and whatsoever he does shall prosper” (Psalms 1:3-4 NIV). A tree by the river will surely have its roots nourished, and David’s tree experiences a level of prosperity in that it produces the leaves in the proper season.
I aim to be like Wordsworth’s daffodils and David’s tree. I try to keep myself rooted in waters that replenish my spirit so that I can continue to be effective. This has been my practice in days past and moving forward. I understand that all of my future successes are still grounded in where I am planted.
As a result, I pray often—in the morning, afternoon, evening. I can walk down the street and say a one-sentence prayer: “Dear Lord, help me to say the right words in this conversation I am about to have.” I could read scripture, reminding myself of the power and love of Jesus. I could read a book about the holiness of God. I could listen to a sermon or to gospel music. I could ask God for forgiveness.
That is to say that when I stay close to God, then at the right time, everything that God has guided me to do will come to fruition—but in God’s time.
My prayer: Lord, help me to stay planted in you so that I can be and do all that you have called me to do.
Question: What steps do you take in order to remain planted?
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