My Nano Patch
                       
                                     
My Nano Patch -- Agapanthus

Nature speaks to me.  

Ever since growing up in Hualien, a rural part of Taiwan, I’ve always
fancied nature.  If I wasn’t day-dreaming high up a tree branch in my
parents’ backyard, I’d be strolling down at the beach not far from the
house.  I also enjoyed lying on my back on a slope at the schoolyard
watching cloud formations.  

Looking back, I could see how the Lord had begun to prepare my
impressionable young heart to ask many serious and weighty
questions like, “who am I,” “where did I come from,” “where am I
going,” and “what’s the meaning of life…?”  

Nature challenges the mind with many questions and excites the
inner man with many clues to possible answers.  Only if we are
willing to stop and listen.  

Looking back, I know the Lord had spoken to me through nature
therefore made it so easy for me to believe in Him when the gospel
was presented to me later on in my teenage years.  

Now, about forty years later and graying, I find nature still speaking
to me, especially through my little nano patch of the universe –
gardens.  Regrettably I must confess, I’ve spent most of my time
rushing through life and missed many precious lessons.  

I am just now beginning to learn to stop and listen again.  

Consistent with the burdens and the messages the Lord has placed
on my heart, I shall continue to write down these little impressions
as I observe and learn from nature, and share them with my dear
brothers and sisters as I have done before.  

However, if you find these observations too corny, please forgive me
– I am still learning to listen.  And I could be wrong.  

                                                                  Agapanthus

It’s mid April, and my Agapanthus is putting out a few flower stalks.  
These stalks grow several inches a day until they max out around 5’
before blossoming with hundreds of exquisite little florets in the
umbels.  

I noticed that the young stalks turn their heads in the direction of the
sun all day.  In the morning, the stalks point to the East.  As though
they have eyes, they follow the sun and trend to the West in the
afternoon.  Then, the strange thing happens, as the sun is blocked by
the house late in the evening, the Agapanthus flower stalks bend
back towards the East again.  

As I pondered over this odd behavior, I noticed that the setting sun’s
light is reflected from our back neighbor’s white garage; it must be
this reflection that confused the stalks into bowing to the East
instead of the direction of the setting sun.  

This reminds me of my own confusion with regard to the light that
the Lord has given me in the past.  I was most grateful and excited
when the Lord granted me illumination into His heart about His
eternal purpose regarding Christ and the Church.  I was so
mesmerized by the brightness of the light that I sold myself out to
following this light.  But due to my spiritual immaturity, I soon
neglected the Person who gave the light and ended up following a
mere reflection of the light, but not the true source of Light which is
a Person.  

This was a horrendous mistake that exacted a great cost both in my
relationship with the Lord and my relationship with others.  Even
years later, I still cringe just thinking about it.  

Have I really learned the lesson?  I am not so sure.  I need the Lord’s
mercy to be reminded daily to turn back to Him who is the source of
light and revelation.  Regardless of the degree of light and intensity
of revelation, whenever He is obscured from view (and this happens
way more than you think, my friends), we will end up in confusion,
counterfeit and darkness.  

Another thing about my confused Agapanthus, I wanted to see how
pliable those flower stalks were in hope that I could bend them back
to the setting sun late in the evening.  Those stalks were as hard as
canes – totally un-pliable as they pointed in the wrong direction.  

It humbles me.  Am I not the same way – stubborn in my perceived
light and revelations?  

Lord, make me pliable; soften my stubborn heart.  Thou art the
Potter, I am the clay.  

Just a few more days and the Agapanthus will finally top out and
bloom.  I look forward to the day when our spiritual lessons finally
culminate in glory and grace.  

Oliver Peng