My husband and I moved into our house almost 14 years ago. That first year, in my gardening enthusiasm, I drove to the local plant nursery and picked up bulbs, of all kinds. I especially wanted tulips. The clerk at Green Thumb explained how to grow tulips. She informed me that tulips do not naturally work well in Santa Clarita, but we can force them to grow by tricking them. For successful tulips, she told me, you must place the bulbs in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks before planting. Each following year, you would need to dig them up, place them in the refrigerator again and then replant.
I was ever so convinced of my digging desires and certain of my tulip adoration and bought a couple of bags full of bulbs. You can imagine my husband’s reaction to two large bags of tulip bulbs sitting in our frig, but we were a young couple and he was willing to work through it. After the appropriate wait, I dug up holes all around our house, planting tulip after tulip. I could already envision their growth in my mind’s eye. I had chosen yellows and pinks and a few reds.
That following spring, they pushed through the soil and emerged gloriously declaring the change of season. It was truly beautiful. That year I occupied myself and my husband with multiple home jobs and when the following fall arrived, I knew I needed to dig up the tulips. My adrenaline had faded, and fatigue took over. I couldn’t and I wouldn’t. It’s just too much work. So, I didn’t dig or chill or anything to those little knots beneath the soil.
The second spring, our tulips vanished. All but one. A peculiar tulip burst through the soil in the center of our front yard hill. It wasn’t pink or yellow or red, not completely. Stripes covered its petalled surface, red with yellow. How odd! It didn’t fit, all by itself, with our lawn design, but I liked its pluck and endurance. That persistently quirky rogue tulip has continued to haunt our hill every year since.
I can’t explain it. It shouldn’t grow, it shouldn’t exist, but it does and it’s truly beautiful. Each year when that single flower makes its annual debut, I think of how many things we do that don’t work. How many times we follow directions, but lack the follow through and yet God blesses us. It makes no sense.
Why would God forgive me when I yelled at my undeserving child? Why would she be such a joy anyway? How could our family continue to thrive when work is at a loss? When tragedy hits? When nothing seems to go our way? I shouldn’t be content, but I am. Sometimes God’s plan and our plan meet at a crossroads and we don’t know how His can possibly work, but when we trust Him, it does. Just like that stubborn tulip, God can help us accomplish things which defy logic.
In a world gone wacky, when everything piles up against us, what if we become the rogue tulip in someone else’s life to help them realize God’s true power against all odds. We burst through the soil of sadness with a joy-filled attitude knowing God does and will provide all we need. I want to be a rogue tulip, what about you?
- Royal wedding: Palace tulips face a pruning in case they blight the big day (dailymail.co.uk)
- How did this happen? (wcs4.blogspot.com)