It's spring! And, with it comes the glorious change in weather that brings us out of our winter hibernation to discover life blossoming again. The soil is turned, garden plans are made, and seeds are planted in anticipation of the season to come.
My daughter wants to spend every waking moment outside and I welcome the chance to explore the outdoors with her. She sees things so differently than I, so much so that she surprises me with what she notices. A bug, a worm, a bird, or a stick - things that have become so familiar to me, she sees with wonder.
Like this dandelion. She squeals with delight and exclaims "FLOWER!" over and over again whenever she sees one (and thanks to our lack of weed control we've got plenty).
What do you see? A weed or a flower?
Technically, and to a child, a dandelion is a wildflower. However, when I compare it to my rhododendron, it pales in comparison. But, beauty (or lack thereof) does not a scientific classification make, so why do we relegate this plant to the status of a weed?
Well, the answer is pretty easy since dandelions are so gosh darn common and prolific. It's hard to think of them as anything but a weedy annoyance. A person can't even get rid of them without chemical intervention. In fact, they're so common they've lost all real value because isn't worth based, in part, on rarity? Gold, silver, platinum, and diamonds have great value because they are hard to find. And, dandelions? The only people who are able to give dandelions away are kids who pick a bouquet for their adoring mothers.
But, isn't the yellow of a dandelion no less vibrant than that of a tulip? I wonder if we'd think of tulips any differently if they popped up here and there all over our yards. And, isn't the dandelion edible in its entirety? You can't say that for a tulip. Although, a dandelion's bitterness makes it hard to swallow. But, in a zombie apocalypse, I'd probably eat them. Probably.
Perhaps it's our perceptions that need to change. Maybe if we gave worth to the dandelion we would begin to see it differently. Perhaps we would see it for the determined little flower that it is.
There's considerable ingenuity built into a dandelion. They have a way of coming back over and over again. A person plucks the flower and another soon take its place since the root systems usually stay intact; a person needs a chisel to get the entire root of the ground.
Then when it's getting ready to end its cycle it transforms its flower into hundreds of tiny, fluffy seeds that are carried off by even the slightest breeze to propagate a new generation.
Designed with purpose and intention, I contend that the dandelion, despite its commonality, has worth.
I think most of us feel like a dandelion.
In this time when great value is placed on physical beauty, unique skills, or accomplishments the result can be that most of us feel pretty common; like there is nothing special about us. Just like a dandelion.
But, what if we claimed our true worth instead of seeing ourselves as common and unimportant? What might happen if we realized that we are specifically designed and equipped to make this world more beautiful. Just like that little dandelion, we house within us a strength, determination, and ingenuity that will drive us to bloom and blossom wherever we are planted. If we let it.
Of course, there are those that already think of themselves as a rhododendron, but as human beings, our worth is not measured by looks, status, or rarity. Our Creator made each of us with great worth. We simply need to claim that worth and live as if we mean it.
So, claim your worth, little dandelion! Show your yellow! Reach those roots down. And, as your influence spreads on the wind you will see yourself in places you never dreamed possible. Just wait and see.