While traveling up the mountain toward the Blue Ridge Parkway for a day of hiking, all of sudden the driver of our vehicle stops in the road and puts the car in reverse. What has caught Rick’s attention? A bear? Some deer? A waterfall? Then he says, “That hillside is full of yellow trillium.” I looked and all I saw were trees, weeds, and undergrowth. I strained my eyes to see this early bloom, but to an avail. And then he said, “See, right there in front of us beneath that tree is a whole bunch.” Finally, my eyes settled in on what caught his eye passing by at 35- 40 mph.
Rick graduated from Clemson many years ago with a degree in forestry. His love of the outdoors and all that God has created is readily seen if you spend any time with him in the mountains. He has, by his own admission, spent many hours poring over wildflower books. So a hike through the mountains with Rick is sure to be an education in forestry and flowers!
While heading on toward the trail with a few more wildflower recognitions, several analogies came to mind.
- Rick was able to quickly recognize these flowers because he has given dedicated time to the study of wildflowers. He knew what to look for, when to look for it, and where to look for these beautiful yellow flowers. Are you able to readily see where God is at work because of your hours studying the Word of God? Can you recognize His character being revealed through various daily situations of life? Do you see answers to prayer? Are opportunities to praise the Lord eagerly spoken?
- Rick has a passion for wildflowers that he is quick to share. How about you? Is your passion for Christ such that there are no forced gospel opportunities? It just comes natural for you to talk about the greatest passion of your life, the Lord Jesus Christ.
- As I mentioned earlier, Rick, without any fanfare, loves to teach about wildflowers. Have you studied the Word in such a way that discipleship is a passion for you? Do you love to teach your children eternal truths?
I tried to “rejoice with those who rejoice” when Rick showed us those wildflowers. They were special to him. But the real rejoicing was being with a man who is more fervent for the Word of God, knowing Christ and seeing souls come to understand the Creator more than for what He has created.
So, the day on the trail was a day of beautiful wildflower sightings as well as sharing together in the blessings of being born again in Christ!