Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Lent 2013, III

III. When bending a warped board back to its proper shape, the direction we bend it is determined by the direction in which it was warped in the first place. You have to find the crookedness and go in the opposite direction. There is another analogy though, that we can use to shed a new light on the question. What if, instead of a dead wooden plank, we are trying to straighten a living plant? Most plants have a tendency called heliotropism, which means they grow in the direction of the sun. You can sometimes see dramatic examples of this in young trees growing in the shade of buildings or other trees. Since sunlight can only reach them from one direction, instead of growing straight and tall, they grow lopsided and twisted. As anyone who has ever tried to search for the perfect Christmas tree in an overcrowded Christmas tree farm can attest, trees will grow primarily in the direction they are given freedom to grow. Another example of heliotropism is the homemade greenhouse that I did as a school project when I was a kid. Since the plants were indoors  we used fluorescent lights over the boxes, but at certain times of the day the sunlight could hit them through the window as well. The poor confused plant, unable to distinguish between the real sun and the fake sun, would grow in an undulating fashion. Instead of having a straight stem it constantly waved back and forth trying to follow both lights at once. Fortunately for the plant we didn’t leave them confused for long. Come May, after the ground wasn’t frosted every morning, we transplanted them out to the garden. There, with no confusing fluorescent lights, it was free to grow straight to the sun.

1 comment:

  1. Thus, with no confusing distractions (even of things which are good)we can focus on drawing closer to Christ. Basically, growing straight toward the Son. A good reminder of what Lent is about.

    God bless,