We love to hang things around our neck. It is a handy spot for hanging something. Little girls like to adorn their little necks with dainty jewelry, little boys with bandannas or strings from a cowboy hat. I even put a bandanna on our miniature schnauzer in the winter and on special occasions. (If you haven’t met him, he’s quite the handsome gent.) As we get older the neck adornments accumulate, ladies with pearls, and men accumulate neckties.
We have hundreds of day lilies, and the month of June is their showtime. This year they put on a spectacular event. They are some of my favorites because of their blooming beauty, and their ease of care. Plant them in a sunny spot and they grow, simple as that. Here in north Alabama, their foliage remains green year-round unless we have an extraordinarily harsh winter, then in the spring they put out a multitude of lovely long slender leaves. About mid May they begin setting buds for bloom time in June. Each plant will put out many flowers, but each flower will have only one day to bloom.
As I was browsing the flower beds, I noticed that a few day lilies that bloom so beautifully had been strangled. Upon closer inspection, there were blooms that had bloomed the day before and now had wilted, draped across a bloom that had yet to open. In the heat, the wilted bloom had become encrusted over the tip of the un-bloomed bud. It tried to overcome the hold of the wilted bloom, but could not. It missed its day to bloom. If you look closely in the photo attached, you will see one bloom open, and its’ brother just beside him, hopelessly strangled by a bit of a spent bloom. What could have been its’ day of glory lost, a non-bloomer.
I must admit that I have been like that, maybe you have too. We are designed to flower and bloom, but sometimes we carry something around our neck that prevents us from flowering as we should.
Perhaps your neck is adorned with jewels exhibiting your wealth, that prohibit your bloom of generosity to give to someone in need. Perhaps you have a tan line of pride that holds you back from including the least of these among us into your circle. It could be a dirty collar of embarrassment of something in your life, past or present that causes you to not speak out or take action when you should. There may be someone in your life whose hands around your neck make you afraid to do what you should be doing. There may be dog tags around your neck that identify you in a way from which you can’t seem to break free.
Like the lily in our yard, there could be something in the past, something either good or bad that holds you down. Perhaps the death of a loved one, or a family matter, or poor decisions along the way which strangle you every time you try to move forward. Life is full of such events but, life is full of opportunities too, opportunities to overcome and bloom.
We each have opportunities that are only available today. You have been planted, it is time to bloom. Will you break loose from any hindrances or lose you chance to bloom? By tomorrow, today will only be a memory and that chance to bloom will be gone. Today, put the past behind you, set your mind on things of eternal nature, dwell on whatsoever is good, lovely, pure, and take off whatever is strangling your sweet little neck today and bloom! Try it now, just for me. I want to see you shining and blooming, not strangled! Let me know what you loosed from around your neck! I want to hear your story.
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