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We have a plant on our back patio that lives in near obscurity. One might ask, “Why would you cultivate such a scrawny plant? Why would you give it such a place of prominence? It certainly is not pretty in any way.”

Nothing about the plant draws your attention to it.

It does not require much nurturing or care, just a little water every now and then.

At first it appears to have only a single redeeming quality; it remains green year round but not a very pretty shade of green, a green that is spotted with brown specs often with holes in the leaves. In other words, it lives most of its life looking as if it is dying.

Twice a year, tiny blooms begin growing around the edge of the leaves. Even as these blooms develop, the plant is still not much to look at.

Then one day, you step outside and realize that the plain less than beautiful plant is emitting a faint sweet aroma similar to the fragrance of honeysuckle. The drab looking blooms have turned up and appear ready to explode into full flower.

“Tomorrow,” you say to yourself.

The next morning you step into the bright sun ready to devour the beauty you fully expect to see. The hint of honeysuckle is gone and all you smell is the fragrance of the freshly brewed coffee in your hand.

You glance at the plant and, “Yikes,” the blooms that appeared to be on the verge of bursting open just a few hours earlier are now hanging there, limp and drained of all life.

What did I do wrong? What have I done to cause them to die?

Nothing.

This flower graced the world with all it had in one night during the few hours from yesterday afternoon and early morning and is now gone forever. It reveals itself only to those who are willing to come to it at a time chosen by God.

Sometime after dark the night before the flower quietly announced, ”I am here, come see how beautiful I am, enjoy my wonderful fragrance, but only for a little while.”

Most of us never see the flower in all of its radiant glory or smell the sweet aroma that fills the air because just before daylight, the bloom wilts and dies.

Many of our lives follow the same pattern. God prepares us for a task; we perform that task in some private venue with only a few or maybe no one realizing that we have done something of great value. By the time others acknowledge us, we have returned to being regular people with no special skills and no obvious beauty.

Most of us live in relative obscurity. We don’t attract much accolade from the people we encounter. Only a few people are with us long enough to see that we are pleasing to be around and that we may have something to give. To those we are forever beautiful.

Please turn your eyes to those God has put in your path and determine to spend a little more time with them. They just may have what you need for this day and this hour.

And for you, continue to bloom where you are and for those who have time for you.

As the Scriptures say, “People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field. The grass withers and the flower fades. But the word of the Lord remains forever.” And that word is the Good News that was preached to you. (1 Peter 1:24, 25 NLT)

Wayne Brady 6/14/2014

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