The rain fell in intervals, just enough to provide snippets of relief from the heat as I went on a morning jog. I plodded along a roadside gravel path, the Potomac River pushed up against rocks on my left, a cottage lined road was on my right. I was alternatingly focused on breathing and enjoying the breathtaking surroundings. My eyes were drawn to a tuft of bright yellow dandelions wedged between the rocky shore and gravel path. I had to smile. Every few yards, handfuls of dandelions roared up like tiny suns against the grey ground beneath my feet. I almost laughed out loud at the contrast, not only in the scenery, but in how I felt about those dandelions. Here, they were pretty and brought to mind sweet memories of my childhood. Today, they brightened my morning and I was glad to see them. But in my yard at home…well, they are not nearly as welcome of a sight.
In my yard, dandelions are the enemy. They are weeds that discourage the growth of our feeble grass. When I first see their leaves, I tug them out by hand. Eventually they dot our lawn like fast spreading measles. Each year we resign to simply mowing them down and hope their remaining stems blend into the grass to create a “green” lawn. Location matters.
Last week dear friends of ours moved away. Our kids grew through their teen years together and into adulthood. We’ve shared weddings, births, birthdays, career changes and life challenges. We are going to miss dinners out, cookouts, holiday gatherings and worshiping in church with them. I know this will not be the end of our relationship. It will require more intention and while we may not see them often, we will learn to treasure that time even more. Things will change….location matters.
Yesterday another sweet family moved away. A young couple we have loved through our work with a young couples class at church. We have seen them grow spiritually and as a family. While my heart rejoices in the new opportunity this move provides for them, it also aches. They have formed amazing relationships here. What began as a class of couples blossomed into a collection of families. Their kids became fast friends. They have shared births, birthdays, holidays, illnesses, adventures, career changes and life challenges. Their move will not be the end of their relationships, but how they continue those relationships will need to change…location matters.
Scott and I are facing change as well. After living in Northern Virginia for 24 years, we have an opportunity to move. As we look through various property listings and pray about where God would want us, I am reminded of what is important. The structure of the house, the upkeep and the condition of things may be on the list, but they are not on the top of the list of deciding factors. Proximity to where our adult kids now live, nearness to old friends, convenience to airports, and an environment in which we can host friends and family are a huge part of our thought process….location matters.
These shifts in our lives, moves, and change were on my mind as I jogged past those dandelions. I realized, I do not know of a single dandelion ever purposefully planted by man. Dandelions grow in dark rocky places, adding color to dim terrain. They fill fields below tree lines in meadows and farmland, and yes, they defiantly grow in yards across America every spring and summer. They are where they are because that is where God placed them. Whether by wind, water or the breath of a neighborhood child blowing and making a wish on the seed filled puffball, it is God who moves the dandelion. Once planted, those dandelions do what they were created to do…they bloom.
As we all face changes in life, whether a move from city to city, or perhaps a move from one life plan to another, it is good to consider the dandelion. Location matters only because the God who moves the dandelions also moves us. Wherever God plants you…bloom!