Our first-grader, Jianne and I were talking about parts of the plant this morning. We went outside to get samples of leaves and flowers. I just picked a random leaf from the garden and took it inside.
We talked about the leaf acting like the chef of the plant as it is in charge for making the food. Like the chef, the leaf needs important ingredients in order to make a perfect meal. Jianne enumerated the ingredients needed by Chef Leaf which includes light from the sun, air, water and nutrients from the soil.
Time will come when the leaf can no longer make food. That is the reason why their colors change from green to golden yellow, orange or brown. These beautiful change of color is evident in autumn especially in countries like the United States. We see the beauty of this natural phenomena covering the ground almost entirely during this season.
Then, Jianne had her aha moment. “So, does it mean that the leaves are dead when they change color?” she asked. “Ah, yes?” was my unsure answer because I didn’t want to disappoint her. Kids don’t like to talk about death. Then, I sensed panic in her actions as she held the leaf in her hand. “Does it mean this leaf would die too?” she asked. “Yes, because it’s no longer connected to the stem, it won’t have any food,” was my reply.
She stood up and hurried outside. When I asked her where she was going, she said she has to do something very important. After a few minutes, she came back with a smile on her face and blurted out, “The leaf will not die, Mama. I put it back to the stem.” This puzzled me so I dared ask her, “What do you mean ‘put it back’?” Then she pulled my arm and led me to the garden and to the plant where we got the leaf.
She pointed to the reattached leaf and said, “It’s okay to put tape on it, right?” Jianne taped back the leaf to the stem. Awww. I thought it was cute and I didn’t know how to answer her. The truth hurts and I have to be honest with her. “I’m sorry but I don’t think the leaf is going to survive,” I told her.
The smile on her face disappeared then she looked down. She kept quiet. She looked upset. I tried to console her by saying that more leaves will grow. But she wouldn’t listen to me. She said she was still angry.
Aren’t we like my daughter sometimes? We try to fix things in our life by putting a tape around our problems or our circumstances. We use our own power, strength and intellect to make things work. We fail to acknowledge that that “tape” is not suffice. Eventually, through constant beating of the air, rain and other elements, that tape will eventually loose it’s stickiness and detach the leaf from the stem. We need to remind ourselves that the “tapes” that we use in our lives will also fail us. Sometimes the temporary solution we create might even aggravate the problem or situation we are in.
I am reminded of this verse about the vine and it’s branches.
4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. John 15:4-6
Unless we connect ourselves to Christ, our so-called solutions would always fail us. Because these solutions are concocted by the finite minds of man. Why rely on human power when in supernatural power is available to us. Why rely on our limited thinking when there is a God whose wisdom is limitless. In fact, he says in his word that whoever lacks wisdom, we should ask of him who would supply us with abundantly (James 1:5)
Tomorrow is another day and I know Jianne would be checking the leaf when she wakes up. I hope she would remember that since God made those leaves, He can always make new ones. And this time, we will not detach them from the stem 🙂
What are “tapes” we fix our problems with? When did we realize we need someone wiser to fix it for us? Let’s talk 🙂