“Create in me a clean heart, O Lord, and renew a right spirit within me.”
I am a thistle. Most of you have seen me growing undisturbed in an abandoned farm field or along a country lane. The neighboring farmer thinks I’m just another noxious weed needing to be destroyed, but, I know better. Like the crops which he grows, I have a purpose in this life because I am part of God’s creation. If you have ever observed me while in full bloom, you will see the multitude of bees, butterflies and birds that come to partake of my sweet nectar. Additionally, the beauty of my purple blossom is beyond comparison in the places which I grace. I am useful and I am beautiful.
My velvety leaves protect me from those who would try to uproot me and place me in another location. My spiny leaf tips give notice to those who would prefer to see me elsewhere that I am just fine where I am growing. I know my purpose in God’s grand plan and I am destined to fulfill that purpose exactly where I am placed. As with my neighbor, the dandelion, many would rather see us eradicated than appreciate the beauty and sustenance inherent in us. But, both of us are hardy and undeterred by man’s plan to eliminate us. We will grow in places which orchids and tomatoes dare not consider.
Of course, I have been at times envious of the beauties growing in the farmer’s manicured vegetable garden and yard. Who wouldn’t want to be the star attraction, the luscious orange carrot or red beet in the garden, the multi-colored petunia or geranium gracing the front yard? We all, at one point, aspire to greater appreciation. But, that chase is futile for a thistle can never be a tomato. A thistle can only hope to be the best thistle ever to grow in God’s creation. I’m OK with that. Are you?