The sunflower is a mystery to me. When young, the flowers follow the sun through the day from east to west. Every day. Oh, yes, science has described this behavior…given it a name and categorized the actions, as Robert Farrar Capon says, but even so, it is a plant. And it is following the sun… I still watch in wonder.
The sunflower is a mystery, just as every single thing in the universe is.
God, even more, is a mystery. A conundrum. A puzzle. And seeking His face is a journey into a strange place. Very Strange. Where I give, in order to have enough. Where I fight with weapons of love. Where I forgive and bless my enemies. Where I seek to be like a child in order to move mountains. Where loving Jesus in worship and praise summons the presence of the almighty God. Where giving Him all gets me everything…the desires of my heart. Where letting my dreams die brings joy unspeakable and rich life that never dies. This mysterious God loves me. Thinks only good thoughts of me. Plans to give me a future and a hope.
I so seldom ask what is on His heart when I pray. Somehow believing He is as bound up with my challenges as I am. And in a way that’s true, but I am also learning He has a deeper truth for addressing the things that trouble me. Asking what is on His heart changes the fabric of my life. He responds to my invitation. To my query. And I find His reality is a place rich and deep and wide, filled with joy and peace and love. And when I ask the right questions, the mystery begins to unfold, little by little, in a delightful and satisfying way.
We are so impressed by scientific clank that we feel we ought not to say that the sunflower turns because it knows where the sun is. It is almost second nature to us to prefer explanations . . . with a large vocabulary. We are much more comfortable when we are assured that the sunflower turns because it is heliotropic. The trouble with that kind of talk is that it tempts us to think that we know what the sunflower is up to. But we don’t. The sunflower is a mystery, just as every single thing in the universe is.
Robert Farrar Capon