loveliness amongst the lilies….

The day the power of love overrules the love of power,
the world will know peace.”

― Mahatma Gandhi

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(a water lily blooms / Deer Lake, Watercolor Beach Community / Julie Cook / 2016)

Any pond owner can tell you all about the love / hate relationship they have with water lilies.

On the one hand, water lilies are pleasing to the eye as they languidly spend life just floating around.
They help to conjure up thoughts of idyllically kayaking or canoeing around said peaceful bodies of water…as we languidly long to spend life much like the water lily, just kicking back and letting life be….

Lilies provide and offer inviting homes to a myriad of reptiles, amphibians, fish and water fowl.
They provide delightful visual bursts of color across an otherwise barren greenish body water….
They offer shade underneath the water and help to encourage mini ecosystems within the pond itself.

However if left unchecked and unmanaged, they can grow out of control…giving into their invasive
tendencies.
As they will eventually choke out the very fish and aquatic animals who they once provided shelter and nourishment to…
Sucking out the very oxygen and nutrients from the water which helped to
sustain those dependent on such.

Lilies will eventually cover and clog a once thriving body of water…
rendering it dead, empty and useless.

So what is initially considered lovely and even beneficial in moderation,
is anything but lovely when left to its own devices….

Much like ourselves.

We often have good intentions.
We start out wanting to do the right things,
to do well,
to be productive,
to aid our fellow man…

We work on focusing on the positive and all which is good.
We put our best efforts and best foot forward.
We are filled with all things altruistic, looking outward rather than inward…

Yet something happens…
our vision begins to fade…
as our sights shift…
Outward becomes inward
as the ‘theys’ become less and the ‘mes’ becomes more…

We grow out of control…
We allow ourselves to go unchecked, unmanaged.
The negatives become invasive, choking out all the positives

Intentions easily turn…empty.

There is but only One who can manage this unchecked overgrowth of ours…
Turning unmanageable ways…from the negative back to the positive…
It is a matter of focusing,
self discipline
and daily yielding…
Yeilding to the only One who desires to maintain that which has gone awry …

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood,
and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—–
to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.

Revelation 1:5-6

Intricacy

Part of my journey is to say that the soul of the human being must be a massively intricate, wonderful creation that God has a respect for in ways that we do not and that leaves a huge amount of space to go explore.
William P. Young

My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Psalm 139:15

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(a collection of Gulf shells / Julie Cook / 2014-15)

Consider the humble shell.
The exoskeleton of a small soft bodied sea creature consisting of 98% calcium carbonate and 2% protein.
Amazingly symmetrical in both shape and design.
A wonderful natural formation of near perfect dimension.
Intricately formed and polished to perfection by mere sand and water.
The ultimate prize of those who wander the waves.

How many times has a young child reached down, into the damp heavy sand,
digging frantically to retrieve a prized shell?
Excitedly extracting the shell, with or without inhabitant, up from the surf and gently cradling the new found treasure, they scurry triumphantly toward mom and dad proudly proclaiming the finding of the hidden treasure.

How often does an adult do the same? Ambling idly along the surf, mesmerized by the rolling waves, lost in a world of thought, when suddenly looking down, there lies a beautifully glistening shell partially buried in the sand–intact, not broken or chipped–perfect. A sense of wonderment and awe fills the would be treasure hunter as they joyfully reach downward, ready to grasp the prize.

Consider the human body
96.2 % oxygen, hydrogen, carbon and nitrogen, with almost 70% of that being water.
Amazingly symmetrical in both shape and design.
The ultimate design of all living creatures.
A treasure whose inception is set mysteriously into motion, hidden in the sacred depths of an intimate holiness.

Woven intricately by the Master Creator, each individual is just that—an individual.
Each different from the next
Different from all of those who have been and of all those who are to be.
Unique
One of a kind
Special

Fluids flow
Bones grow and form
Nerves fire
Muscles twitch
Eyes see
Ears hear
Sounds are made
Thoughts are formed. . .
as life begins moving forward. . .

All as a watchful Father looks downward, mesmerized with joy, gently breathing life into the tiny form he cradles in loving hands, knowing that He has just found the prize. . .