When I first moved into my new apartment, I was gifted an African Violet as a house warming gift. I remember thinking how beautiful it was with its purple blooms. Now I’m not exactly known as someone with a green thumb, but the African Violet did not need much attention. You have to keep the soil moist to dry and allow the soil around roots to dry out before watering. It thrived in moderate to bright, indirect, indoor light. Pretty much, it was set and go and enjoy its beauty.
In the beginning, I made a point of taking great care of the plant; it was, after all, easy to do. I also found myself looking at it as a source of relaxation and motivation due to its striking color and amazing blooms. Just by looking at it, I could feel my spirits being lifted as it seemingly gave me a sense of purpose.
As the months went by, the good times were plentiful. Success seemed to be around every corner. With success, I found myself spending more time at the office as I endeavored to continue, which at the time was a rapid rise up the corporate ladder. When I wasn’t in the office, I was out networking and enjoying the social scene. During this time, I neglected my beautiful African Violet that had provided me with so much inspiration. Then as fast as the success came, the economy took a downward turn. Cutbacks were on the horizon. I survived the company purge, but the rise up the corporate ladder came to a dramatic halt. The large bonuses that I had foolishly incorporated into my budget to finance my overextended lifestyle dried up. At the same time, my girlfriend, who I believed loved me, answered the question New Edition once asked. Can you stand the rain? As you may have guessed, her answer was no, and she told me it was over. She made up some excuse about us growing apart, but it was pretty obvious the distance between us only widened as my bank account lessened.
I fell into a funk. Depressed, I cut myself off from most of the world. I frequently asked myself, why is this happening? Spend many a weekend laying in bed with no desire to get up and embrace the day. One day, I looked at my long-neglected African Violet, hoping it could once again inspire me with its beauty. When I looked at it, I saw it had stop flowering and its leaves had turned yellow. I immediately understood that it was my failure to water it and cultivate its soil because I was so busy enjoying the good times, that was. Responsible for its current condition.
I had taken it for granted and assumed that it would always be there in all its beauty as an inspiration when I needed it.
Your faith is like the African Violet; it does not require super high maintenance. But it does require that we not neglect it. Not cultivate and continue to strengthen it in the good times and expect that it will merely be there for us in times of angst. We must continue to take steps along our spiritual journey, praising the Lord for the blessings He has bestowed upon us in good times. Strengthen our belief each day so that we do not turn away from the Lord and egotistically pat ourselves on the back for achieving such success, forgetting that without the Lord, we would be nothing.
I looked at the African Violet and took steps to restore its beauty. Watering it, cultivating its soil, ensuring that it received the proper amount of sunlight. Soon its beauty began to return. It started to bloom once again. New bright and vibrant green leaves took the place of the ones that had turned yellow. My renewed commitment to the African Violet brought me a new and stronger plant and, with it, a new source of inspiration. Now each day, I look at it in all of its beauty and go out and embrace all that the world offers me, good and bad.
As with the African Violet, you can renew your faith by recommitting to the Lord. The Lord does not hold grudges and His blessings are always there for you. As you restart your spiritual journey and offer your praise unto him, you will soon see that your situation will begin to brighten in time.
2017 is here and it is time for us to reach for our dreams and soar above the clouds.
There will be those who will tell us that we can’t do it but we will ask them why can’t we.
There will be those who will tell us we’ve come as far as we can go and we will look at them and take another step.
There will be those who will tell us that there are boundaries to what we can achieve and we will tell them that we have never been confined by imaginary boundaries.
There will be those who will tell us we are dreamers and we will tell them that we have always believed there are possibilities.
There will be those who will tell us others have tried and failed and we will tell them we can achieve what few would even dare dream possible.
Then there will be those who will ask us how they can join us and we will tell them that first they must let go of what they have been taught to believe is possible. That they must let go off the fictitious boundaries that exist only in their own minds. That they must let go of society’s confined vision of them. That once they let go of these things they will see that life offers them an array of endless possibilities and once they see that then they’ll be ready to soar above the clouds.