Approximately eight years ago, I planted a camellia in my front patio. According to the average growth rate of the plant, it should be about eight feet tall by now. You know, like the one the neighbors have on the other side of the fence. Mine is about two feet tall.
I'm telling you, it doesn't grow. I've fed it, I've watered it, I've neglected it, I've given it the stink eye...all to (seemingly) no avail. Many times I've almost given up and pulled it out. I figured it was hopeless. Well, actually, I figured that the one on the other side of the fence (along with the fence itself) is hogging the sunlight. While I haven't pulled it yet, I admit that I'd pretty much considered it a lost cause.
Then on Friday, I went out and saw this! It bloomed!
For the first time ever, my poor little camellia produced a flower!
You might be thinking, "So what's the big deal? It's a flower." And you're right, it is just a flower. But it's a flower that reminds me (us) of a very important lesson:
Some things just take time. And patience. And perseverance. And continued care during the waiting period.
I don't like any of that...I want things to be completed on my time table. I want things to be produced when I want them. Whether it's a goal I'm trying to attain, a prayer that I'm waiting on an answer for or a relationship that needs work...anything really...I tend to want quick answers and an immediate fix. I want things to be logical, orderly and predictable. Unfortunately, that isn't real life.
Will my camellia survive forever? Likely not. But this weekend, I am thankful for the reminder to be patient, to wait, and to persevere. Sometimes, just when you least expect it...you'll get a nice surprise.