This year, my indoor tulip plant taught me a valuable spiritual lesson.
We have skylights in my family room, and from the second day I had those tulips on the mantle of our fireplace, the purple tulips were bending sideways and upward to reach towards the light in those skylights. The tulip plant continued to bend and move in crazy directions just to follow the light. I had never seen a tulip behave like this!
The tulips craved and followed the light.
Even in the springtime, as sunlight becomes brighter, warmer, and longer in duration, we humans do the same. We crave the light and follow it. We want more of it. We go outside. We move towards the sun. Many of us even go down south for spring break to get more of it.
Watching the tulips and thinking about our behavior as human beings with sunlight, reminded me of today’s Gospel when the sheep follow the Shepherd. The Shepherd was their light, voice, direction, and steady hand. So the Good Shepherd of Jesus is our light. He lights our hearts, minds, and being. He enlightens our path. He is always trying to move us from darkness to light in the ways we live our lives, calling us from repentance and darker ways of living to the light of more abundant life in faith, hope and love.
Because like tulips and sheep, we also crave and follow the light.
We crave the light of Jesus that illuminates everything in our life. What does He desire of us in response? To bend towards the light, just like those tulips did. To embrace that desire for light and move towards it by stretching ourselves, looking upward, and moving outward to find it. When we do that, we will hear the voice of the Shepherd that calls us to more and more light in our lives.