Magnolias are my favorite flower in the whole world. They’re large and simple with thick petals and strong leaves. Just one color…no need to show off. Gentle, subtle fragrance. Not to mention an emblem of the South where, despite the heat and humidity, I enjoy calling home. I am thankful to live in an area with many magnolia trees.
I was thinking last week about these gorgeous flowers and the differences between flowers which grow on trees and those which grow from the ground. There are several advantages to the former.
- Being higher up, they are more protected. It takes a lot more work to climb up a tree and pluck a flower than it does to bend down and pull one out of the grass. This height advantage also provides first access to the sunlight.
- Tree flowers are dependent on their host for survival, drawing nutrients and strength–life itself–from the tree, rather than striving on their own to survive.
- The second point offers its own positives. For one, tree flowers are often sturdier than their ground counterparts, and they don’t have to be resown and cultivated each due season. As long as the tree itself is in good condition, the flowers come naturally.
I found a spiritual parallel in all this. Where are you rooted? Do you have your roots in the soil, striving for life on your own, open to plucking and trampling by any passersby? What’s your source of life? Of strength? Of nourishment? Are you cultivating a life that says to God, “I’m going to do this on my own,” or one that says, “I’m resting secure in Your boughs, trusting that You have all I need to survive and will dole out every ingredient I need to flourish.”?