Posted by: DCox | July 16, 2008

Being Planted in the Right Place

Last weekend I spent three hours on a prayer trail outside Divide, Colorado.  At one of the early stations on the trail, I sat for some time reflecting on the different microenvironments.  On the hill across the way (with a view of Pike’s Peak beyond), there is a healthy mixed stand of aspen and pines.  Below me was a small wetlands created by an earthen dam.  The open water is surrounded by aquatic plant species.  On the adjacent slope the predominant plant species are grasses adapted to arid conditions. 

A trained biologist likely would be able to describe in even greater detail the diversity in habitats.  However, even for the untrained eye the difference in plant types is evident – tall trees, grasses, and aquatic plants.  Each species doing well in the microenvironment in which they are growing.

As I was praying, God impressed on me relevant lessons I needed at that time.  God designs us, as his children, to thrive in environments that are best suited to our true selves.  Just as plant species thrive in some habitats and not in others.  We are created in God’s image, but differing in gender, ethnicity, life experiences, and gifting we thrive in different places.  As a result, we are attracted to / have proclivities for different cultures, vocations, athletic endeavors, hobbies, ways of serving, etc. 

We function at our best when we are “planted” in the environment for which we were created.  Another way of saying the same thing is – we are going to have the best opportunity to thrive when we are utilizing all the experiences, skills and abilities we’ve been given by God.  That’s also how we glorify God; by being all that God created us to be.  We honor God by living congruently with how we were designed.  Of course our primary calling is to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; as we are aligned with our true self we more naturally worship God in all we are and all we do.

Aspen in Colorado

Aspen in Colorado

As I continued hiking the prayer trail, I came to a south facing slope with the grasses you’d expect in an arid microenvironment.  However, there was also a cluster of aspen.  Aspen that were stunted.  The aspen trees showed evidence of either disease or of being insect ravaged.  Perhaps the aspen were more susceptible to dis-ease because they weren’t planted in the habitat for which they were designed.  There was still growth, but not to the full potential of the species. 





These lessons spoke to my heart as I consider what it means to be my true self and how I can use my experiences and abilities to the fullest. 


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