In this season of disruption – pandemics, shifts in the economic market, employment uncertainty, relational upsets, it is tempting to throw up one’s hands and say, “I give up.” There is a sense of being completely out of control. Nothing is “normal” anymore. So how does one navigate through this new terrain of uncertainty?
First, let me say it is time to get excited and not give in to feeling defeated. This “new normal” gives you the opportunity to re-invent and give yourself a new beginning!
I find it interesting how humans react to what can be termed “inconvenient change”. It is only called this because the change happened without your permission which tends to throw us out of kilter. Meanwhile, nature deals with changes in the elements and seasons as if it is an everyday occurrence!
Storms, erratic weather patterns, and even human carelessness occur yet trees and flowers continue to blossom and even seem to thrive amidst the external stresses. What can we learn from this? Lean in. Lean into the changes you want to avoid. It is in the leaning in that you are forced to acknowledge the reality of what is occurring and assess your options and determine how you will deal with your circumstances. We only have two choices—to live or die, to wither or flourish. No matter what is happening externally, you can control your responses internally and positively affect your outcome.
I am fascinated that even the frailest looking plants bounce back after a storm and even dare to produce beautiful fruit that would make one question if a storm really occurred. What is the secret? It lies in their roots. Roots that go deep and entrench them in their foundation. They will bow but are not moved or uprooted because they are deeply rooted. This is where your faith comes in. Your faith informs and reminds you of who you are, whose you are, and why you are here. Your identity and the understanding of your function and purpose give you the ability to remain steadfast through the trials and agitations of life. It fortifies you to weather the storms of life and produce even greater fruit.
The Master Gardener plants us with a specific design in mind. He washes us and tends to us, prunes us, and even fertilises us. This can be an unpleasant process. Pruning is painful. We tend to try to hold on to all things familiar and marginally acceptable because it is all we know even if it is not serving us as it should. But the Master Gardener is faithful to cut away anything He knows will impede our growth and progress. And then He fertilises us. Fertiliser is made from compost (manure). It is not pleasant and yet it does the job. He uses the mess in our lives to make us stronger so that we can thrive no matter what circumstances challenge us.
Written by: Michelle McKinney Hammond
Featured in Glitz Africa Magazine issue 28