Last month, Charlie and I enjoyed going to the Driffield Show. We attended on the second day of the event and the weather was just right, not too hot and no rain. Over the two days thousands of people appreciated all that the show had to offer. I had entered some floral exhibits in the Horticultural section and, to my delight, came first with two of my entries! Flower arranging is a hobby of mine which I don’t have much time for, so something like the Driffield Show gives me the opportunity to indulge. Indeed, this was my 3 rd year of entering, and I remember thinking the first
time, how I was doing this for me, not for the Church, or Work, nor my Family, but simply for me and for my pleasure. Something that doesn’t happen very often. I had continued to think the same ever since, until friends this year said to me, “Thank you for showing us what you have done and for sharing this with us”. Well, yes, I thought, actually what I have done has not just been for me. It
has given pleasure to hundreds of people who have looked in on the Horticultural marquee. Like any of these occasions, if it were not for people giving of their time and talents, energy and enthusiasm, there wouldn’t be an event. Unless one has organised something on such a large scale as the Driffield Show, no one knows how much work goes into it, so thank you to all those who do make the show (and other events) such a pleasurable and enjoyable occasion for the rest of us to enjoy.
One of the classes I entered was entitled, “Roots, Shoots and Leaves”. This appealed to me straight away, although I did wonder about the ‘Shoots’ and how I was going to manage that.* However, an arrangement with no flowers would be interesting. Like all ‘subjective’ hobbies, a lot depends on the judge’s opinion, and what one person thinks is the best, another one perhaps chooses something different. As they say, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Interpreting the title is another significant feature and of course can vary considerably. Some would look at my arrangement and think with having no flowers it lacked that element of brightness and colour, whilst others would say artistic creations don’t always need flowers. Once again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and like I’ve said, I did come first so I was well chuffed.
Musing over this, made me think about another familiar saying, ‘the apple of one’s eye’. How often do we say someone, especially children and loved ones, are the apple of our eye? It means they are very precious, indeed priceless, valuable, and dearly loved like non other.
Did you know that God thinks of each one of us as being special, and that we are the apple of His eye?In Deuteronomy 32 v 10 Moses describes God’s care for Israel: “In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye.”
Our eyes are very sensitive and our eyesight immensely valuable. If something flies towards our eyes our eyelids instinctively respond and close, we turn our heads
away or cover our eyes with our hands. Our body naturally protects that vulnerable spot to prevent injury.
The description of God’s care for His people emphasizes Israel’s vulnerability and God’s tender, loving affection. God provided complete protection. His people were precious to him and were a priority. In the ‘howling wilderness’ God provided manna for them to eat, water from a rock and safety from their enemies. God regarded the Israelites as the apple of His eye, even though they were often rebellious. They were cherished, and His love for his people has not changed. He holds each of his children close and protects us from harm. He does this because He loves us. What a wonderful God we have!
Beauty then, is in the eye of the beholder. Others may have a different opinion, but God thinks of us as being the apple of His eye and it is God who has the final word. Whether the arrangements are made up only of foliage or full of glorious brightness and colour, the nature of creation all around us is amazing. We often take it for granted. Pause a moment and take in the beauty of God’s World.
And although I now realise I am doing my displays for others to enjoy, ultimately I’m doing them for God and I give Him the glory.
God bless you
*I managed the ‘shoots’ by finding some old seed potatoes which had never been planted!