Original Post: 09/06/2015
If you can, listen to this while reading: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPeudF7tcD8
I am supposed to be studying for finals in my first semester at university. I am supposed to be memorising the rules and equations of STAT110, but it is really killing my brain and I realised on Sunday that I have not written in ages. So here I am, on a study break from doing what I detest, doing what I do best instead. Or at least, what I think I do well. I will keep it very short though as I really do need to study.
At the beginning of the year I attended a student camp at my new church. I was going through a period of immense struggle after moving away from home and university life being rather lonely if you’re underage and not into clubbing as well as working through great personal issues. God used this camp to extend a metaphor that I had received late last year when preparing to graduate high school, an acorn.
My mum bought me Max Lucado’s “The Oak Inside the Acorn” and an acorn necklace for graduation and I loved the metaphor of the story. In a nutshell, the story is about a little acorn whose oak tree mother always said to it that “Inside you is a great oak” and the acorn’s journey of falling from the tree, being planted and never understanding its potential because it kept comparing itself with the other plants in the garden. Eventually the acorn found its purpose.
In the period of life that I am currently in I am constantly having to fight to find my purpose, my dream and my goals in life. God is revealing to me slowly that the expected nature of having a five year plan on what to study, when you are going to get married and settled down, where you are going to live and what job you are going to do is not how my life is panning out. It is more like a series of steps and discoveries. At the moment, I have just been planted. My dad said to me when I left home, “The work has been done, the soil has been prepared and the seed has been planted. It is now time to grow.” What I did not realise it what it requires of a seed to grow.
I may not be 100% scientifically correct, but the metaphor works for me, so here goes. When seeds are planted their only environment is the soil immediately around them, there is nothing but darkness and dirt. They rely on a farmer or water source to water them and on the soil to provide them with nutrients. Without the right environment their life will not begin. Even in the right environment though seeds need to break before they can grow (here is where my biology is a bit fuzzy). An acorn is encased in a hard shell and in order for it to be able to sprout roots and grow it has to break open this shell and then the cells of the seed must divide like crazy to develop – right? Well, that is how I see it anyway. From what I can imagine this period of breaking and dividing in order to grow would be rather painful if I were a seed and that is what I felt was going on in my life at the time.
This picture taught me to put my pain into perspective; all the pain and breaking off of dead cells was to lead me to be able to grow better and stronger. It also taught me that I need to rely on other sources to carry me in times of pain – in my case God was my gardener, and life was my soil providing me nutrients through His word and my family and loved ones. I had to learn to rely on them if I wanted to be able to grow to see the garden that I was planted in in order to understand my purpose.
I am not saying that I have it all sorted or that since discovering this metaphor that life has become easier, I still stumble and heaven only knows that I really fail at life some days. The important thing is that when I take a step back to breathe that I can put it all in perspective and accept it for what it is.
I cannot wait to break through the soil and bloom!