I read an article in the newspaper saying that the time to dig up iris and divide them is July-August. At the very end of August (and into September), I decided that for the first time in twenty years (instead of every three or four years) I would dig up my iris. The little garden plot had become a jungle of long leaves, and the iris had not bloomed well this spring. Having put off the digging up and dividing for years because I didn’t know how to do it, I turned to YouTube and watched two videos about how to do it and how easy it was.
I am amazed at how many iris came out of the garden and how few went back in where they had been. The process was far from easy, and without an experienced person to answer my questions live on the spot, I have no certainty that what I did in the digging up phase or in the planting phase will result in healthy and blooming iris next spring. Now what I can do is water and wait.
So much of life is like that. At the end of a certain project what will come next? Will there be another project and more work? We really can’t know. Or, we may have inner clarity that a move is in order, but what we will face in preparing to move and being in the new place is largely unknown. We may be able to read some guides, get some information, but ultimately we don’t really know what will come.
I think I get captured by fear of failure, fear of being shamed, and that fear can keep me from going forward. But there is another perspective—knowing God loves us.
All the little things in our lives are part of a much bigger picture. God is very much in the midst of failures as well as successes, good beyond measure can come even from defeat, life is full of surprises. And staying stuck in fear can let your iris turn into a tangled jungle that is much harder to deal with, and with more to lose, than if you had taken the risk of doing the work earlier.
Where does fear of the unknown show up in your life?
What helps you live in times and situations of unknowing?
O God, you call us from our settled ways, out of old habits and rutted traditions. You call us into the land of promise, to new life and new possibilities. . . Deliver us from false security and comfort, desire for ease and uninvolved days. Let your Word and Spirit dwell in us that your will may be fulfilled in us for the well-being and shalom of all. (Vienna Cobb Anderson, Prayers of our Hearts in Word and Action)
For further reflection:
“Then Mary said . . . , ‘Let it be with me according to your word’ (See Luke 1: 26-38).
“Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you” (See Genesis 12: 1-9).