By JENNIFER BURGIN
I thank the LORD and I praise him; I bless the name of the LORD. When I was young and innocent, I sought wisdom openly in my prayer I prayed for her before the temple, and I will seek her until the end, and she flourished as a grape soon ripe…. My hand opened her gate and I came to know her secrets. I directed my soul to her, and in cleanness I attained to her.
Tuesday night I couldn't sleep very well as thunder boomed and lightning flashed through my bedroom windows. I tossed and turned thinking: Please Lord, no more rain! Can you let us dry out for a few weeks? Save the showers until July and August. We're floating away around here! I never remain sleepless for long, especially during an extended holiday weekend. Obviously, my mind was worried about the week lying ahead.
When I need to clear my head, my favorite place to visit is the Dallas Arboretum. It's my mini oasis away from work woes, problem people, and blinding boredom. While laying in bed, I pictured myself walking the gardens with my rosary in hand, citing the Joyful Mysteries. I observed rabbits scurrying along the grass and bees pollinating the Saint Pope John Paul II hybrid tea roses. I felt droplets of morning dew on my skin. I smelled the crisp clean air while listening to the birds sing. Just imagining the botanical wonderland brought me comfort. From my lips I continued to whisper "Hail Mary, Full of Grace..." as I finally drifted off to sleep.
Our Lord created such an artistic array of flowers, trees, animals, and insects. The kaleidoscope of nature is awe-inspiring because it allows us to appreciate life in all of its forms. Undeniably, our beautiful earth would not be so spectacular if it wasn't for God's wisdom. He designed from the very beginning of creation water to sustain life, not only our physical bodies but also our spiritual ones. The waters of baptism transformed us into Christians just as the Holy Spirit's gift of wisdom helps us carry out our baptismal promises.
The horticultural term "water-wise" refers to a plant's ability to stay alive with limited water. An entire section of the Dallas Arboretum is devoted to water-wise flora. One of the secrets to survival under drought conditions involves genetic and cellular compositionalong with native landscape adaptability.
Plants can be classified as "water-wise" just as followers of Jesus can be considered "Christ-wise". That is, we use the Holy Spirit's gift of wisdom in our day to day interactions. Wisdom is something that develops over time. It's achieved through prayer, scripture, the sacraments, observation and sometimes trial and error. We all remember some of our foolish teenage years. We thought we were wise "Know-It-Alls" when on the contrary we knew very little. One thing great about getting older is getting wiser! The old saying is very true.
When I think of a water-wise plant, I think of its amazing ability to conserve water in ways to enhance its growth. When drought hits, it doesn't droop but remains alive. The "Christ-wise" believer uses wisdom to grow in holiness. He or she is more resilient in adversity, enthusiastic about spreading the good news, and more devoted to the faith.
Let us all become more "Christ-wise" in our relationships with friends, family, coworkers, acquaintances, and our parish family. Learn to walk the way of Christ through the garden springs of life!
“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” - Confucius
This meditation was written by Jennifer Burgin, a Lay Dominican. Please follow her blog: Jennifer's Spectrum of Spirituality