Monday, March 14, 2011

Observations From a Flower Show

Good Monday morning everyone, today my post is going to be more like a Saturday post than a Monday post.  I had a hard working little sleeping weekend, and I just do not know if I have the energy to put the level of effort into posting on the next beatitude.  Today I want to talk about some thoughts and observations on the flower show that I worked at last weekend. The Philadelphia International Flower show is a huge event.  They have exhibits ranging from miniature arrangements to bonsai plants to garden plots to green houses to this year a giant Eiffel Tower.  This year's theme was Springtime in Paris, hence the Eiffel Tower.   Ultimately, though, everything is about the flowers. 

In fact, the booth I worked at won second prize for a large horticultural sales booth.  I do not know who got the blue ribbon, but they probably paid off the judges (just kidding!).  My wife's family is now in its third generation of growing orchids and they remain a perennial favorite because they take care of their plants and their customers.  Plug aside, the fact that we did win Second Prize amazes me.  We had no fancy props.  We had no elaborate booth.  We have a large yet practical sales booth that has been assembled and reassembled for years. The main feature of our booth is that it allows us to have out on display many plants at any given time.  Orchids are beautiful plants, especially when they flower, and so it was not our efforts that won us any prize, but just showing off God's creation.

In a way, that brings me to one of my points.  When people are shopping at our stand and do not have experience with orchids, it is commonly asked "How do I grow this?"  Or they tell us that we "grow" such beautiful plants.  The thing is that we do not "grow" anything.  You can kill a plant but you can not make it grow.  All we do or teach anyone else to do is to give it the conditions that it will naturally grow in.  Some plants like a lot of light and some do not like much at all.  Some like to grow in a bog and some like to grow in a dessert.  Some plants like hot and cold cycles and some like even temperatures.  Some need a "winter" and some would die in one.  Some like humid air and some like dry air.  All you do when you have plants is give them ,as best we can, their natural environment or one that it can adapt to.  If you give the plant that environment, it will grow and bloom over and over again according to its natural cycle.  If you do not, it will be a weaker nonproductive plant or it may even die.  In other words, all you can do with a plant is give it the conditions to grow.  The growing is up to the plant according to God-inscribed instructions encoded into its DNA. 

And to me that is an amazing thing.  Without getting into a science lesson, the instructions for the artistry of an orchid flower are contained in DNA so small you can not see it with the naked eye.   And you have cells, having no eyes or ears or brain to think, automatically knowing what parts of that DNA to read and to react appropriately.  You see, all cells in any living organism have the same DNA as every other cell in that same organism.  So for an orchid whether it makes up part of the root or part of the flower, the cells all have the same instructions.  They just "know" which parts to read and which parts not to read.  And so without a construction company, architects, or artists, a work of art is built.  The amazingly ornate and complexity of the flower is amazing.  I even had a customer ask me if we painted them or if they were like that naturally.  Of course, it is natural.  It is the work of God in setting up a system where stunning visual works of art are created by something that can never see it or even comprehend it.  They many times produce pleasing scents by something that has no sense of smell nor can it comprehend what smelling even is.  The evoke emotional responses by their utter beauty yet have no emotions of their own.  The just do what they were created to do.

God is truly amazing and the miracle and beauty of life is an ongoing testament to His existence. It saddens me that people take this beauty and try to use it to glorify ungodly ideas such as evolution.  To say that such order arose out of countless errors is beyond absurd.  It also saddens me when people glorify the plant and not the One who made the plant. Appreciate the art for the gift that it is, but give glory to the Artist. We live in a corrupt morally depraved world and it is so easy to focus on all the bad around us.  Remember, though, God would not have given us roses if He did not intend for us to take some time to stop and smell them.  Spring will awaken very soon bringing to life the trees, plants, and flowers that are at the end of their winter's slumber.  Take some time to appreciate the beauty that God created for you.
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. THE heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Psalm 19:1 NKJV

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