Here in Tennessee, during football season, there is a lot of decoration going on in shades of orange. It is difficult sometimes to differentiate between UT fans displaying their colors and people decorating in the traditional dominant fall color.
Either way I’m usually not very impressed. I have never been a sports fan, and the color orange has long been my least favorite; probably dating back to the time my stepmother picked out some fabric for my Home Economics project in high school. I had only two or three other dresses at that time, and since the dress code did not allow pants, of course I wore the hideous handmade atrocity. I wore it, but hated it because of the glaring orange color.
Perhaps the fact is that I just like other colors a lot more than I like orange. Simple as that.
This lily was an orphan at a giveaway event with my garden club, dug up and forgotten and laying helplessly wilting on the lawn. The garden owner, one of our local experts on daylilies, would have thrown it out had I not promised to take it home and care for it. His daylilies all had a name and even sometimes a pedigree, and this one had been separated from its defining label.
Thus was born my “orange garden.” This bed is in the farthest reaches of my yard, where the clashing colors of this daylily, along with my Rudbeckia and Knifofia, will not distract from what I consider to be the gentle and peaceful blues, purples, and pinks that I so adore.
So you see, I don’t really hate orange, I just love it less. A lot less. I also like football a lot less than gardening, sewing, cooking, and old TV comedies, cleaning the garage — you get the picture. That didn’t stop me from going to a Titan’s game when I snagged a set of really good tickets at work. My husband was thrilled to have the tickets, and he wanted me at his side. I enjoyed watching HIM watch the game!
Jesus told us, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26 NASB).
This scripture, puzzling as it may be to those who have limited Bible knowledge, is very clear to me in light of the garden color and sports that I seem to hate. I have to say, I really appreciate this unwanted orange lily on its own merits, if I don’t go comparing it with the flowers that sport my favorite colors.
We, too, love Jesus so much that any other relationship would seem like “hate” in comparison.
This beautiful orange lily, which I really do love, is a reminder that I have enough love to care for one group of people at incredible levels, and yet have so much more love for what is really important: wholehearted devotion to the Savior of my soul.
And so it is that I plan on carefully, lovingly planting some new starts of this unnamed orphan lily in my “orange garden” this weekend. But my heart belongs in my front garden, with the purple flowers! I love my family fiercely, but Jesus is my Lord.
How much do you love Jesus? I can tell you how much Jesus loves you. He spread out his arms upon the cruel cross, as if in answer to that question, to say, “This much.”