At some point almost every child learns how to blow on a fluffy dandelion and watch the seeds scatter into the wind. As a child I took every opportunity to scatter a dandelion. The trickiest part of the process was trying to pull the dandelion from the plant without ruining the seed cloud. If I yanked too hard then the white seed strands would shake loose and float off in all directions, but without the satisfaction of being blown away with a gentle assist from my blowing through pursed lips.
At times I wished I could gather the seed cloud back together and try again. There was something exciting about getting the perfect dandelion that would disappear almost instantly as the air left my mouth. Avid dandelion hunters know that it is hard to find these perfect fluffy clouds that are ripe for picking. Often, the dandelions look ready, but they aren’t quite done drying out and no amount of air is going to get those seeds to release from the stem. There are also just as many that are only half ready, and the burst of air leaves a partial dandelion hanging pathetically to the stem while the other half sails away to root new plants.
Today my mind felt much like a dandelion ripe for scattering. As I spent time with the Lord my mind drifted to spending time with my husband and making him a priority. Then it shifted to the kids and dreams of what their school year will hold. Next, came my friendships and my shortfalls. Then to my upcoming school year and the challenges of teaching from a distance. From there my mind spun to all the chores and plans of the day. Then I snapped back to my time with the Lord, distracted and confused about what I’d been talking to Him about before my mind wandered.
Some days, much like today, the more I try to stay focused on the Lord and His purposes, the more I feel my thoughts drift here and there without a care in the world to what I want. My thoughts want to take root and grow anywhere they land. One thought, or seed pod, may lead me to a whole new rooted train of thought and distraction from what the Lord has planned for me. Then without notice my brain may shift in a completely different direction, picked up by a gust of wind and sailing to another place to root and grow.
What a dizzying and confusing way to live. In these moments, I wish I could gather the thoughts back and start over, much like trying to pull a dandelion from its plant without scattering the seeds. I have to be focused and methodical to keep the thoughts together, to keep from being tossed around in a tailspin. As the seeds start to scatter, I have a choice to make. I can choose to let the fluffy clouds of thought take me where they wish and spend my day twisting and turning in the wind, or I can choose to stay in the presence of the Lord.
It is vital that all of us learn to recognize these dandelion days for what they are and when distraction strikes we need to be aware and ready to fight back and stay still. The Lord has something for us better than any wayward thought if we choose Him, whether the wind is a slight breeze or a torrid gusting against our dandelion thoughts.
“Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.”