Perception Adjustment

Recently I gained new perspective on entrenched thought processes. Oddly,
it was from a lesson on the Dandelion.

After the snow melted and plants began to push up through the damp
soil, I noticed Dandelions were scattered throughout my yard. They pushed
through the small, tan volcanic rocks I had carefully placed around succulent
plants called Hens and Chicks. They were entangled in my Iris plants as well
as the Columbine. Also, they were tightly pressed against wooden fence posts
and deck stairs. They seemed to be everywhere, although not as prominent as
those growing in my neighbor’s lawn across the street which was a bright
yellow due to the flowering plants.

I looked at the Dandelions with disdain and pulled out my trowel to dig
deep beneath their roots and eradicate them from my yard. However, the
morning after I had filled a garbage bag full of weeds, including the dreaded
Dandelion, my husband read a column he came across while browsing
the Internet. He was quite astonished. And once he shared it with me, I was
astonished too.

Although it is the most unpopular plant in most neighborhoods it was
only in the twentieth century that people labeled Dandelions a weed. Before
they developed a bad reputation, gardeners would remove the grass so
Dandelions had room to grow. They were valued for their medicinal and
nutritional benefits as well as their beauty.1

While these are interesting facts gathered by the author of the column,
Anita Sanchez, they don’t astonish. This does:
–Dandelions have more vitamin A than spinach, more vitamin C than
tomatoes, and are also rich in iron, calcium, and potassium.
–Dandelions are good for lawns because their root system aerates,
reduces erosion, and pulls nutrients, such as calcium, up from the soil
nourishing other plants.
–Dandelions help the liver filter toxins from the bloodstream.
It is not by chance I came across this new information that changed
disdain to admiration and respect. I don’t know if I have ever had such
a dramatic change in attitude.

Why did this revelation occur? What is God trying to teach me?
This was my first thought following the lesson. It seemed to address
something I have struggled with for several weeks, anxiety and my
perspective on it. Anxiousness is described as a sense of uneasiness,
distress, or dread. A reaction to stressful, dangerous, or unfamiliar
situations by the mind and body.2

Often, I think my anxiety shows a lack of trust in God, if I
believed God’s promises…if I were better able to apply Scripture, I
would not experience such negative feelings. Yet they come.

Until the Dandelion column, I though anxiety came from deep
within, an emotional response I must address. The onus was
on me. Then I got a new sightline of the possible source. Can my
anxiousness, my uneasiness be prompted by God?

I often find myself in unfamiliar situations. Not sure of the
correct response. This uneasiness alerts me to the need for
preparation. To seek the correct response, to uncover the proper
way to address the situation.

In the past I went to Scripture to make the anxiety go away.
Pouring out my heart to God with prayer and petition with
thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6-7). Taking captive every thought
contrary to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).

But perhaps it isn’t always appropriate to yank the anxiety
from my heart as I once yanked the Dandelions from my garden.
Perhaps God wants me to look at a situation I am in and seek His
wisdom in how to handle it correctly. Instead of trying to pull the
anxiety from a situation I will consider whether the anxiety is a
warning, like the beacons in a lighthouse keeping ships from
crashing on rocks. And seek the passages of Scripture that make
conduct in those unfamiliar situations familiar.

Contemplate Your Ways:

1-In what ways has God helped you gain perspective on a
situation in a surprising and unusual way?
2-How have you found small occurrences, like the discovery
of a column on Dandelions, to have a profound impact on
your life?

Be sure to share your answers in the comment section!

1-Column, “Ten Things You Might Not Know About Dandelions”
by Anita Sanchez printed at summer 2007.
(Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association).
2-Column, “What is Anxiety?” by Tanja Jovanovie, Ph.D. consulting
editor from Emory University,

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