When I was a young staff girl with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, I crushed hard on a boy who worked with Campus Crusade for Christ. When I dreamed of my future, it was hard not to imagine a scenario where he would wake up and realize he couldn’t live without me. And yes it was a future serving God in some amazing, world changing way, but also, with the boy. Always with the boy.
Until the day he called me and told me he liked someone else, and we were only ever going to be friends. Ok, I thought. Change of plans. I can handle this. Apparently I am not going to marry this guy. But it seemed like such a good idea, God! So now what?
Growing up in Minnesota, I remember swaths of dandelions. We rubbed them on our chins and noses. Watched them fly lazily through the air. I couldn’t understand why my dad hated them, or the admonition from my parents not to blow them.
But our dad knew. Dandelions are not flowers. They’re weeds, and those innocent pieces of fluff, when blown, propagate them. The more there are, the less room there is for other life.
The hope of that relationship was a dandelion.
To be honest, I was not entirely surprised to have the rug pulled out from under me. The book I was reading at the time was When God Interrupts:Finding New Life Through Unwanted Change. Uncomfortably convicting and timely. In it, there was a quote, “When we have focused too narrowly on the dream we thought the Savior would give us, then it is the dream that has become the savior.”
The dream that takes His place. Or the activity, person, job. Whatever takes our focus off of Him. Chokes out true life. Keeps us from being fully open to God’s direction in our lives. Makes you scribble your potential married name all over the margins of your journal. The thing that looks good, but is a weed in disguise. The hope we are banking on to make us feel secure, happy, comfortable.
We have to let Him weed us of the false flowers.
With the boy out of the picture, my dreams got bigger. Or rather, my willingness to let Him shape my dreams got more expansive. Letting go of something I thought would bring life actually made room for God’s plans for me.
False flowers show up in many forms. A relationship, or the hope of one. The perfect job, or chasing an image. The activities that consume us, but God never actually asked us to do them. Anything that causes us to focus on something we think will bring life, rather than on the Giver of life Himself, can crowd out the Spirit. What looks good might not be good, if it isn’t God’s call or plan.
So what do we need to weed from our hearts today?
(oh, and by the way? I did end up with that boy).