Grow. Now.

About a thousand years ago, I had a postcard blu-tacked to the door of my study in the tiny flat my ex and I shared. It was a postcard which followed me through three or four moves to three or four different houses, and I don’t remember whatever happened to it, but I’m sad that I lost it.

The postcard was red, and it had a drawing of a man standing over a tiny but brave pot-plant, glaring down at it. The caption to the postcard was “Grow. Now.”

I kept the postcard for so many years because the absurdity of it appealed to my sense of humour, but looking back at it I see why it so strongly resonated, humour aside: I’m the plant, and I’m the guy.

I was chatting recently with my spiritual director, who is one of the wisest people I’ve ever met. We were talking about my struggle with prayer – how every part of me wants that time and space to simply Be within the Sacred, to allow the recitation of prayer to draw me deeper into the Spirit which dwells so deeply within me – and how I find it so utterly difficult, to the extent that at times I recoil from it. I understand the barrier – fear – but I can’t get through it. I want to, but I can’t, and I grieve about that even as I seek to hold myself in compassion.

Chatting with her, I was reminded forcibly of the man standing over the plant, ordering it to “Grow. Now.” Silly man – the plant will grow, whether he wills it or not, because that’s what plants do. That’s the nature of their very being – they take what nourishment they are given and they grow. Giving the poor old plant an imposed directive will serve only to infuriate the man, while the plant grows quietly, patiently, in its own time.

The man has to trust that the plant will grow, and I have to trust that I will grow. That my soul’s yearning for for light and growth is the same as that of the little plant: it’s my soul’s way of being to grow towards its Source. My actions can nourish or hinder it – but I can’t force it. I can’t order it, I can’t impose my perfectionism and my impatience on the process. I have to let it be.

I do miss that postcard though. It was a cool postcard.

 

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16 thoughts on “Grow. Now.

  1. I remember that postcard, it was cool. Like the plant you are growing and will continue to grow especially as you consciously seek spiritual nourishment.
    The iPad hijacker

  2. This can be applied to many of life’s objectives, not just faith. I often try so very hard to control the world around me in the name of happiness. But I have found that letting go and just sitting back and letting G-d, fate, nature (whatever) reveal His plan, I become less stressed and in turn much happier.

    • You’re absolutely right, and sometimes all we can do is have the grace to let go and allow Spirit to unfold. Thank you for commenting, and thank you for reading my blog!

  3. There is so much specialness in this post. I can’t even isolate one particular quote. I loved the whole thing. I have postcards, fortunes, and yellow news clips that follow me around too.

    • You’re certainly not the only one who is NOT GOOD at this kind of thinking! There’s a very big club of us. We should get jackets made. Thanks for reading the blog.

  4. I swear I left a comment here before. I think I did! I loved this post and it’s message. This is not exactly what I said before, but that’s okay. I keep special postcards, fortunes, yellowed news clips around for sort of the reasons you wrote about here.

    • Thanks, that’s really lovely of you – especially to leave not one but two comments! 🙂 It’s lovely to keep things like that – little reminders of what’s really important. Thanks for the comment, and for reading the blog.

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