I went for a short run this morning. The sky lightened, revealing a gray atmosphere. A faint drizzle/mizzle made the air feel almost liquid. I love this time of year. The air has so many fragrances – cherry blossoms, tulips, lilacs, and fertile earth.
As I headed down the hill, I spotted a slender dogwood tree growing on the edge of our property. It’s shaded by quite a few fir trees towering above it. But its white blossoms stood out against the dark green foliage. It stood up, straight and tall, as if to say, “I’m here. I have something to offer, and it’s good.”
Dogwoods have special meaning for me. It was a favorite tree of my parents. They planted a pink one in front of our house in Portland. We drove by it a few weekends back. It’s tall now, almost up to the second story of that yellow house on 10th.
Truth be told, I don’t like the pink ones. But I love the white ones. They make me think of my roots. Flowering dogwood is the state tree of Virginia. My family has roots there, too.
I considered all this as I chugged along. I’m in a season in life where I need to choose to bloom. I need to dig in at the roots. I need to commit and give my best every day, no matter how I feel. Seeing the tree today felt like a reminder from the Lord. “Press in, Susan. Give it all you’ve got and leave the rest to me.” The older I get, the more I realize I control so very little. I can’t control people’s actions. I can’t fix their problems or their wonky attitudes. All I can control is me, and sometimes I do a poor job there as well.
So, it’s Friday. I’m going all-in. Are you with me?
Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. – Philippians 2:14-15