On my kitchen counter is a vase of white spider mums that were splashed with various colors of paint, giving me a second of a smile from their explosion of color, most especially on these dark, gray days! Though they are definitely a smile maker, it's their lesson that strikes me every time I walk by.
Kevin almost didn't buy them. He was afraid to take a chance on them since they were only a whopping 50 cents for 3, making my entire bouquet $2. We grabbed them at an Amish grocery store several miles from home and he just wasn't sure if they would last long enough to get home.
THAT was a month ago.
They still have life...
and continue to bring smiles and reminders of bright days.
They may not be as vivid and full as they were, but they are still hanging on a month later.
The packaging wasn't very appealing. They were already marked down from their original price. We were afraid they were already past their prime.
Looks can be deceiving.
That shiny package may actually contain something you really don't need.
That plain package may actually contain a real treasure.
They were tightly wrapped up in mesh netting so it really wasn't until we released them from their packaging that we saw how beautiful they were.
We originally considered them fragile, but realized they were quite hardy. Several other bouquets of flowers have come and gone from my kitchen table in the same time period, only having lasted a couple of days before they were dropping petals and leaves.
Each time I see them, I'm again reminded of the message we are currently teaching our boys (and myself!) about discerning truth. Our eyes can lie. Our minds can be deceived. The world can easily lead us astray. We have an enemy seeking to destroy by any means possible.
What we may think looks like something we want or need, can actually be a trap. Multiple verses remind us that we can be lead astray EASILY. We just can't be drawn to something "shiny" on the outside without realizing there are consequences. Our society wants more and more, quickly throwing out the door contentment and simplicity. Many are working longer hours and adding to their daily stress JUST to provide more THINGS for their kids, without realizing that perhaps their children just need more time with them. Many are being pulled astray in their marriages because they think the "packaging" of their spouse is fading and that other person may fulfill a specific unmet need. Many are thinking a bigger house, better car, more experiences, more purchasing, etc... is going to fill a gap in their lives.
Shiny packages may deceive.
On the other hand, sometimes you open a package and can just be really amazed and awestruck with the treasure inside.
Sometimes we overlook someone's value and worth because they look or act different than we do. Sometimes we may be hesitant to give someone a chance because they've hurt or failed us in the past. (*ouch*)
Sometimes that "plain" packaging may be "us". We don't realize our own strength. We don't realize that with Him our weaknesses are the places He can work the most. Maybe we've spent too long listening to other people's opinion of us and shy away from letting others see our hidden value. Maybe it's our own opinions that are wrong. Maybe we've listened to our own negative self-talk for so long that we forget what we have to offer. Sometimes we just don't know what potential we have just waiting to be unwrapped. Sometimes we've just never allowed ourselves the chance to bloom.
Yes---just a simple $2 bouquet of flowers has been causing my own heart to look beyond the outward packaging/outward appearance and has me wondering where I'm selling myself short, where I'm selling others short, and where I'm being wrongly drawn to the deception of "shiny" packaging in my own life.
Hope these flowers hang around a few more days. I sure am enjoying their splash of color AND the work it's doing in my heart.