Monday, November 20, 2017

The Plant In The Parking Garage

Well, that’s strange.

Those were my thoughts when I saw this small, green plant that had sprouted out of a crack in the concrete of a parking garage near where I work recently. It surprised me so much I had to stop and admire the little thing (I’m easily amused, what can I tell you?).

A few questions ran through my head as I crouched down to get a closer look at it, but most of them boiled down to a simple one: How?

Most of us can identify the type of environment where a plant can usually thrive. We would say some plot of dirt with good soil, access to water and ample sunlight would be ideal. A parking garage wouldn’t make my top 10 of ideal environments for a plant. And yet, there it was.

We should always be striving to grow, but there are times when you’ve probably felt like your growth has been stunted for one reason or another. I know I have. Maybe you’re stuck in a less than an ideal set of circumstances or a self-defeating mindset.

Yet, this little plant in a parking garage made it work. It didn't need much; just a crack in the concrete. It found a way to grow in a place it had no business growing in. So why can’t we?

There are certain things we simply can’t control and it’s nearly impossible to grow if we’re always fixated on them. It’s also impossible to grow if we wait for our circumstances to magically get better.

I've realized that I fall into the trap of waiting for 'perfect circumstances' way too often. If things aren't perfect at home/at my job/at church, my default is to choose a passive approach to growth instead of an active one if I'm not careful. Well, maybe if I wait a few weeks or months, things will get better, I'll think to myself. But waiting for the ideal rarely makes it real. And it certainly won't lead to growth.

If you're in a season where you feel stuck or overwhelmed by circumstances, look for the cracks in the concrete. Sure, it might not be ideal, but it's still an opportunity for growth.

You can grow in whatever job you have now. You can grow no matter what your relationship status is. You can grow in whatever city or town you find yourself in. It might not be easy, but it is possible. We don't need perfect circumstances to experience growth -- we just need a crack in the concrete.

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