Spring - that time of year when nature reminds us that all things can renew, regrow, and regenerate. Trees with sad, barren branches can be overflowing with new life in almost an instant. It can bring a lightness to our step and an expectancy to our days. That is, unless you still feel like that ugly, lonely branch with no buds, no leaves...and no hope of change. MANY times in my life I have felt like that - like I was stuck in desolation while the rest of the world was celebrating renewal...like I had nothing to offer and no beauty to exude. Anyone else??
I finally realized that the beauty from nature began from a given destiny INSIDE. Nature didn't practice any special positive affirmations (although I quite enjoy doing so!) or do good service to be worthy. What was ebbing up inside simply came out, and it caused blessings to overflow from it into the world. After all, isn't that the kind of life and legacy we want to leave anyway - not one of manufactured beauty that is fleeting and empty or glory that only magnifies itself.
So, how do we go about finding our inner glorious destiny to offer to the world? We spend time looking WITHIN.
What thrills your soul to talk about? What activities or dreams make you glow? What passions about life rise up within you? If they better mankind and you as well, then I believe they are part of your callings. We all need and crave purpose. It's our very heartbeat. I believe it always calls to us from within. We must simply be still...and silent...and listen. After all, destiny was never intended to be a secret. Our Creator made us on purpose, with purpose, for a purpose! In other words, my friend, you MATTER!
A glorious example from creation is the apple. I had the pleasure of visiting an apple orchard in the mountains of Tennessee a few weeks ago. I was reminded of what hides in the center of the apple. Do you know?! A STAR.
This delicious star-keeper begins on an knarled-looking tree that looks more like a dark soldier guarding a fortress than a fruit producer. These ominous "soldiers" yield forth a delicate white blossom, like a bride on her wedding day. (A far cry from its creepy counterpart!). Finally, this "bride" gives birth to the tree's final transformation - a robust mother-figure heavily laden with dozens of delightful gifts for fruit lovers everywhere...and roaming deer as well. :)
But now for the "piece de resistance"...the center. As if by magic, the center of the apple stands as a constant inward whisper of its value. When you cut the apple sideways, inside hides...the STAR. Maybe it's my inner child or my inner hippie (Yes, tree hugger I am, folks!) but imagining a celestial kiss sealed in a mere apple is thrilling. For if the apple contains a star to remind it of its worth, how much more must God have put inside us to tell us of our miraculous destiny and infinite value?! Furthermore, stars are dust...we are dust...see a pattern here?! This beauty-seeker thinks my Maker felt I might like to sparkle and shine as well! He even tells us to "shine like stars" Daniel 12:3. I want to gather all my "stardust" and use it to help make the world a little brighter than I found it. I want to show every heart beating how very loved they are and how valuable they are in this thing called life.
Ironically, during my eating disorder years ago, apples were one of the only three foods I would eat. I ate tons of them. I trusted them. I find it quite touching that God used those apples then to keep me alive, and now to show me my value. Isn't He creative?!
So, when the flowers begin to raise their elegant heads and the wind begins to whistle through freshly grown leaves, imagine that star inside of you that is waiting for you to journey within. Get still, get quiet, notice what stirs your soul...and SHINE.
Love and light to you all,
Lisa Ann McCoy