Once upon a time, in a deep blue, colourful ocean filled with fish of all shapes and sizes and radiant marine flora, lived a tender, multi-coloured marine coral. It was anchored securely in a rock, studded with other members of an exquisite coral community.
The coral loved living in its ocean: there was so much to discover and the current was not ever the same on any given day, allowing the coral to travel both near and far. Nonetheless, it remained rooted in its rock and nurtured it gently. At the beginning of each day and as the sun set, it drew close again to its root and then furled its petals each night, calm and peaceful in its very core.
But with time, filled with peace and supernatural strength, the coral became bold and more and more adventurous. It began to take advantage of the beautifully steady currents to stray from its rock, to stretch its one tender root as far as it could, so as to be able to explore other parts of the ocean. It began to unfurl its tender petals earlier and earlier in order to maximise the time to go about its business unhindered, too busy to nurture its roots each morning, allowing the current to carry it to and fro wherever the journey led. The sights it beheld were beautiful, but at the end of each day, the coral would return to its rock dizzy, too tired to tend to its anchor before it furled its petals and retreated into silence for a night of short rest.
This tumultuous routine continued for a while until one day, at the end of a very busy year in its new and exciting life, the coral lay dizzy on its rock after a day of drifting in a storm, too exhausted to even nurture its petals, let alone its life-giving roots, its heart hopeless and weary. ” I feel so worn out”, cried the delicate plant, unable to even care whether anyone heard its calls of anguish in the howling winds. “Why do I feel so battered by the gusts and the currents? Why am I so weary that exploring the beauty around me feels nothing but exhausting these days?”.
And suddenly, as if out of nowhere, a tiny voice rose about the winds and the waves. “My dear child”, it whispered, ” as long as you nurture the roots which attach you to your rock, you will never grow weary. You will not grow faint. You will be thrown to and fro by the currents, but you will enjoy the journey, knowing that I hold you fast, that there is peace and safety if you only cling to me. You have not given me your full attention for a while and I have not been able to keep you strong. But I remain strong and faithful to you, and if you remain in me every day of your life, I will remain in you, and give you strength. ”
As it bathed in this still small voice of calm, the coral was flooded with a deep sense of peace and love. It turned and began once again to nurture its roots, determined to make time for its long-forgotten routines. As it did so day in day out, its anchor grew stronger, its petals more colourful and resilient to the battering currents, its knowledge of and journey with the other corals deeper and more meaningful. Suddenly, the days began to stretch, allowing plenty of time for the coral to explore, even enjoy, its tumultuous journeys despite the added daily chores, which felt light and easy . Peaceful and secure, even on stormy days, the coral now flourishes, safely enfolded in the gentle arms of its powerful root and anchor.
© NR 31 December 2017
Wishing you all a deep sense of being anchored in what truly matters, this New Year’s Eve, in 2018, and always.
Inspired by my own journey and John 15:4
“Remain in me and I will 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”.