As a follow-up to yesterday’s deep thoughts (and because I promised more on this) I thought I’d post about dandelions today. Let’s start with a reminder from Steven Curtis Chapman:

God is God and I am not
I can only see a part of the picture He’s painting
God is God and I am man
So I’ll never understand it all
For only God is God (from “God Is God” on 2001 Declaration)

Without a deeper understanding of our standing in the presence of a Living, Loving, and Active God we begin to consider that He exists for our pleasure and not that we exist to please Him. In turning the truth upside down like this, we misinterpret how important we are and how magnificent what we have to offer is.

Still today, my five-year-old daughter will enter the house from an excursion of play and joy outdoors with a handful of half-wilted yellow offerings to give to her mother or to me. “I picked these pretty flowers for you,” she beams. And we graciously smile our thank yous back to her all the while trying to figure out how to discreetly dispose of the unwanted and useless weeds. What she doesn’t see and what her mother and I both know is that these “pretty flowers” are really lawn-destroying weeds–pests to be obliterated all the way to the root–not precious gifts that bring joy.

For the uneducated in such matters, dandelions are small, broad-leaf plants with a bright yellow bloom that quickly, almost magically, and seemingly overnight (sometimes not even taking that long) shifts to puffy white seed tops that when slightly agitated scatter themselves. These seeds are spread by getting caught in animal fur, on clothing, or by a stray wisp of breeze. They are then deposited willy-nilly wherever they fall and produce a better crop than any grass seed ever wished to do. Once one of these plants takes root and bears fruit it is not only nigh-impossible to remove, but it multiplies faster than rabbits in springtime. No lawn mower is powerful enough to wrest it from its base of operation, and with an immediacy that rivals lightning flashes on a stormy night, carpets a well-tended lawn with thousands of its brethren.

And so, like a five-year-old with grubby hands, we bring to the throne of glory our offering–which we esteem great and beautiful–to present to God with the expectation that he is grateful (and well ought he to be) because we gave him a second glance. Perhaps it would be worth our while to remember that God was not created for our benefit although so many times that is how we view him–as our golden-clad maidservant to come running at our beck and call. Instead we are created by him and for his good pleasure. Certainly he is not a petulant toddler stamping his foot when his way is not followed. Instead he is holy God, totally worthy of nothing less than our best (which our dandelion gifts bestowed as afterthoughts are not).

The challenge of today is to stop strewing dandelions and move toward a total surrender of what Christ desires–the flower that is our complete existence. He then can prune away that which is unhealthy and tend us into true and beautiful growth.