Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bent, and Better For It

I'm twisted...

as are you, as are we all.
I sat on my mother's couch the other morning, chuckling a bit at the hyacinth my kids had given her for Easter. It was growing much larger than it had been; the large head of the plant was dangling drunkenly to the left, lolling on top of a stem gone horribly askew. Even its long leaves were listing to one side. Laughingly, I advised Mom to turn the plant in the other direction. "Why?" she asked me, and I helpfully informed her plants grow toward the light. Presumably this is one of the few tidbits of information my brain felt justified in retaining. Normally, space in my grey matter is reserved for wordy things. Every now and again, a bit of Biology or Algebra will sneak its way in. I can only assume it is somehow presented to me alongside something literary, much like turnip greens require the accompaniment of mashed potatoes if I am to ingest them.
For some reason, the image of Mom's tipsy tuber kept coming back to me throughout the day. Later in the afternoon, I was reading (see above statements regarding the sadly lop-sided state of my brain function), and I ran across the term summum bonum: Latin for "supreme or highest good". Intrigued by this phrase, I began to research its meaning and found a blog, right on this very platform, dealing with the idea of summum bonum. It contained a quote attributed to Aristotle which, in light of my liberal paraphrasing, stated everything, all creatures and aspects of the world, are designed to seek out good. The good we seek can be traced back to "the supreme good" from which all good things come.
Back to the bulb on Mom's bookshelf-
We are all seeking "the highest good". It is within our very natures. We were created and formed for it. Our brains, spirits, bodies, and hearts are hard-wired to search it out. Just as the hyacinth allowed itself to be molded by the very thing which it so earnestly sought, humanity is also altered by that for which we yearn and strive.
We can not think to avoid the manipulation of ourselves. We are destined to be changed and twisted by either the light or the dark. We are never allowed the luxury of staying the same. Our choice comes from deciding if we will grow toward the light, stretch toward that which is good and feeds us, or be shriveled and stunted by the dark circumstances of our lives.
As the plant was bent and reshaped for its own good, we are, as well, when we allow ourselves to crave, search out, and grow toward summum bonum as it is made manifest in our lives. There is no shame or ill intent in the molding. Remember: all things emitting from the light of "the supreme good" are good of themselves and can only strengthen us from the roots up, throughout our core being.
Oh to be warped, bent, and twisted as the earnest, humble blossom-- to be tender and obedient in the light and rays of the Son. Reach for the good; stretch for it. Lean into it. Allow it to change and maneuver what needs redirection.

Twisted and better for it. Grow toward the light.