"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." (James 1:2-4 NLT)
When I was
a boy growing up in my Nana's old house we had 4 huge gardens. Come June
my Dad would be working the tiller while my Mom, brothers, and I would
be planting the seeds. One garden held enough potatoes to feed us all
year round. Others held corn, carrots, cabbages, onions, tomatoes,
cantaloups, and watermelons. There were also so many flowers. My Nana
had a special love for them and nurtured them. Flowers surrounded her
old house and every year she would put down potting soil, plant new
ones, and sing while she worked.
One June I can remember helping
her go around the house pulling weeds and watering the freshly planted
flowers. She was so gentle with them and gave them such love and care. I
thought it was no wonder they grew so fast. When we where done I ran to
get my bike to ride awhile. As I was getting on it, however, I noticed
something. I got back off and knelt down on the concrete walkway that
led to our porch. There growing out of a crack in the concrete without
water, soil, or love was a single dandelion.
At times in my own
life I have felt my growth nurtured, watered, and cared for like Nana's
flowers. At other times I have felt like I was that dandelion having to
grow through solid concrete. Through it all, though, I never stopped
growing. Through it all, I never stopped loving. I realized that it
doesn't matter where you grow. It just matters that you grow.
loves you so much and God wants you to grow in this life. Make the
choice to keep growing then no matter what your circumstances. Keep
growing in love. Keep growing in goodness. Keep growing in kindness.
Keep growing in oneness with God. Keep helping others to grow as well.
Always remember that to live is to grow whether it is through the
richest soil in the world or through a crack in the concrete.
By: Joseph J. Mazzella