Nature is filled with truth, with messages and illustrations from our glorious Creator--messages designed purposefully to show us something of Him. Like the good Teacher He is, He knows that we learn best when a visual aid helps us to see the concept instead of just reading about it.
A sunflower is a great example. It has an interesting property called heliotropism, which means that it continually orients itself to the sun. During the darkness of night the sunflower turns itself to face the east, awaiting the new dawn, so as not to miss even a moment of the sun's brightness.
This picture was taken just after sunrise and this sunflower is taking full advantage of the golden morning light. All through the day, as the sun moves, so does the sunflower, turning, turning, turning, slowly, consistently, staying in the optimal position to take in the maximum amount of light.
Sunflowers behave in a way that seems almost greedy for light. They aren't content like other flowers to get whatever light finds its way to them, but actively go out of their way to drink in every available drop of sunlight. It is as though they are desperate for light, dreading the dark and eagerly anticipating their next opportunity to soak up some more.
How much like a sunflower am I?
"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said,
'I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.'" John 8:12 (NIV)
Do I act like I know this? Do I constantly orient myself to Jesus, desperately seeking every bit of the light He gives? Do I keep my eyes so focused on Him that I have to turn my head to follow Him?
Sometimes I do, and when I do, my heart thrives and grows. I have to admit though that there are many things that can distract me and when I forget to stay fully, completely oriented to Jesus and His marvelous light, I put myself in danger of wilting, withering and stopping the growth I should enjoy. I do NOT want to walk in darkness and I very much want the light of life.
It is no accident that in English the words "sun" and "Son" are more than homonyms--they are very nearly synonyms. While we could never look directly into our earth's sun, we absolutely should keep the Son in our eyes! Lord, help me to be a sunflower today--fixed on Your light in a very dark world.
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