The bar has been set...and the clock has started.
Here we go.
I'm thankful for the example of perseverance in others or even in nature. I give you the Common Milkweed, Asclepias Syriaca. This little tender shoot is growing right smack dab in the middle of our yard.
To which you could easily ask, "What's the big deal? Don't you grow milkweed anyway?"
Yes, yes we do. But we have an area where we grow them so they are not mowed down like this one will be. As a matter of fact, it will be mowed down a few times this summer...as it was mowed down last year. It just keeps coming back, like most weeds do. However, if you know me, you know the significance of this particular plant. It is the sole source of food for the Monarch Butterfly and if you know even a little about the Monarch, you know that it has a long journey every year from its wintering grounds in Mexico to parts as far as Canada during the summer months.
Along the way they need this plant but unfortunately many of the vast fields where the milkweed has grown freely have been almost eliminated by human population or soybean and corn crops. It's not necessarily a bad thing but what is sad is that these plants can grow alongside roads and in parks but they are cut down.
And the Monarchs' numbers are dropping. Drastically.
Of course there are other factors as well, but for the Monarchs that do survive, they need milkweed to lay their eggs. No other plant will do for their hungry little caterpillars.
Here's the genius part. These different varieties of milkweed, with the common milkweed being the most nutritious (as I'm told), are just that --weeds. They will grow almost anywhere and they multiply like crazy. They come back, year after year, mow after mow. They are persistent plants and they have a sole purpose -- to continue the life cycle of the Monarch. It's almost like God knew. [wink, wink]
He knew mankind would flourish and fill the earth, after all God did command it. He knew the fragile life cycle of the Monarch would be compromised at some point. So in turn, God planned ahead and made the Monarch and the Milkweed partners. He provided the migratory encoding and the wintering grounds. All the Monarch has to do is wait out the winter and God would provide a resilient little plant that can stand as tall as 4ft in some places.
The smallest of smalls isn't so small when it has a purpose.
And no matter where I am planted, I have a purpose. If negative thought mows me down, I need to remember persistence, just like the common milkweed, and keep coming back. I can give thanks to God for the now, and not concern myself with what I am missing out on.
"If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers -- most of which are never even seen -- don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works, fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met." Mt 6:30-33 (MSG)Suffering produces perseverance and perseverance produces character. And if beauty is truly on the inside, then may my character be as beautiful as the Monarch butterfly in the hands of someone who loves it very much.
Blessings for your day,
all photos taken by Lisa Arnold with my Canon PowerShot SX150 IS 14 Megapixel 12X Optical Zoom Black Digital