Springtime is one of my favorite seasons in the year. The winter is over, the weather is warm and the hot summer sun is still months away. It is so fitting that the Resurrection and the spring season are so easily intertwined. The best part of the season are the random spring rains. Early morning clouds will roll into the burgeoning valley floors, greening the plants and causing the flowers to bud. I have an affinity for nature, and were it up to me nature would be my life. However, I want what I can’t always have.
After spending time in the spring rain, there comes that moment of realization, it’s time to get back to the real world. The real world includes work, responsibilities, children, my job, people who depend on me…life.
I have often wandered out, no destination near
To hear the distant sounds of birds; to watch the herds of deer.
I listen to the songs of wind and watch the rivers run
The air so crisp, so cool, calls. My tasks I leave undone.
The sounds of wind, the rustling trees,
The buzzing hum of bumble bees
Nature is filled with abundant life
But as for me, I must go.
It is easy to escape to nature when you are fighting Goliaths in your life. For me, some of those Goliaths have included fighting the things in my life that keep me from enjoying the Holy Ghost and feeling the redeeming love of the Savior. It would easy to list all of my sins and list this, this and this as the reasons I cannot keep the Spirit in my life. But it’s not necessary. It’s more important to focus on building strength to overcome these trials, not to dwell on the trial itself.
One morning I was walking a construction site inspecting a newly installed asphalt road. The construction workers on the job site had prepared the sub grade beneath the road, and took great care to make sure the foundation of the street was solid and strong. They added layers and layers of fill dirt and rock to ensure the road would be strong enough to bear the weight of heavy traffic. A few weeks after preparing the foundation of the road, the contractor began to asphalt the street and finished the paving project. The final results were stunning. A rich-black asphalt street meandered through this new residential community. In time, homes would be built, trees would be planted, sandboxes filled and generations of memories would be accessed from these streets.
And then it happened.
Just weeks after the asphalt had been installed, small protrusions appeared in the inches thick surface. Hundreds of bulges began rising from the road. What went wrong? Why was this happening? Who was responsible? Beneath the five inches of solid asphalt were thousands of seeds. When mixed with the spring rain and warm temperatures, these seeds sprouted and had strength enough to rise above the barrier above them. These tiny plants pushed through the weakest parts of the asphalt to find the light. They found strength in their struggle to survive.
Engineers were called to the site to determine the reason why the plants were able to grow. Like a curious magic trick, the secret was revealed. In the weeks before the asphalt was installed, a solid and strong road was left open to nature. Even though the foundation of the road was complete, without the asphalt to cover the earth, the road was vulnerable to the elements. Nature, in its innocence, will always begin to reclaim itself. The winds blew seeds onto the road base and these seeds began to grow. Eventually they were given the right opportunities to have strength to burst through the asphalt to find the light.
Now, are you the seed or the street?
I think there are two lessons here; each is significant in their meaning. For the street: the work is not complete until the job is complete. Leaving yourself exposed allows foreign objects (sin) to take root and establish life. For the seed: be strong enough to grow in difficult places. All plants grow towards the Light.