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Late Planting – week commencing 18th October
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!
(2 Corinthians 5:17)
The picture above is of a plant called Tithonia. I had not heard of them until this summer, when, on a ‘Gardeners’ World’ programme, they were shown and described; lovely orange flowers, apparently growing 3-4 feet in height. The time for seed planting was long gone but then these encouraging words were spoken, ‘It’s not too late to plant them now!’ Swiftly, though without huge optimism, I obtained some seeds and planted them. As if keen to make up for lost time and get on with life, they germinated and developed into strong seedlings. I planted them out into the garden when everything else was in full flower. As I had definitely left it too late, I thought they would probably just struggle for a bit and produce no flowers. Are there things you are reluctant to try, do or explore because you fear you have left it too late? Are there things you have left unsaid – thanks, a compliment, an apology – because you fear you have left it too late? Is there someone whose name you have forgotten and you fear it is too late to ask? What is it that you fear – failure, embarrassment, or something else? The Tithonia in my garden have taught me a wonderful lesson because, contrary to my expectation, they have grown strong and tall. Even then I doubted they would produce flowers before the first frosts. Autumn came and on my early morning garden inspection, I caught sight of a flash of bright orange amid the other plants, which were already beginning to fade and decline – a single Tithonia flower, followed by numerous others! In my autumnal garden they now stand out the brightest and the best. They continue to flower as birds feed on the seed heads of the sunflowers roundabout.
These flowers have illustrated that, even planting late, remarkable things can happen. The Tithonia grew in spite of my pessimism. Are there ways in which you find doubt getting in the way? Are there ways in which a late beginning has surprised you with success? Our Bible verse reminds us that with God a new beginning is always possible, even when we fear we have left it late in the day. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!
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