A few days ago my husband and I, along with some new friends, went for a hike to San Carlos Falls. We had all been there before, but we were excited to see it again, due to the recent rain. Hoping it would be a great, rushing sight to behold, we were not disappointed (except for the onslaught of fat mosquitoes).
However, it was not the falls that spoke to me this time–it was a palm tree. No, I am not the Disney Pocahontas who sings to the foliage while leaves whirl around my head, but I am sure God teaches us through the beauty and wonder of nature.
While hundreds of other palms trees, surrounding the flowing stream, shot straight towards the sky, there was one that did not. It, too, needed the water and sunlight. But it chose a different path, a path less taken. This beautiful palm tree found a new way to live and even though it looks bizarre, it is also striking and lovely.
Sometimes I have felt like this palm tree: a little weird, a little strange. Haven’t we all? There is a line from “What a Girl Wants” with Amanda Bynes that has a grip on me (despite its cheesiness). Daphne, Bynes’ character, has a cute male counterpart who asks her, “Why are you trying to fit in, when you were born to stand out?”
There is nothing inherently wrong with conventionality, and being odd just for cheap attention and notoriety is completely useless and can even be harmful. But merely “going with the flow” to be accepted or avoid all conflicts can hold us back, especially if there is something more beautiful beckoning us to go a different way.
And if you love Jesus, He made it pretty clear that the way to follow Him would be narrow and far less popular. If there are days you become discouraged with your life, or you are afraid to take that first step down the different path, the different way, just remember the palm tree on the way to San Carlos Falls. It went a different way and ended up being rather remarkable.
Keep the Faith,