As I sat near my bedroom window, watching the birds flitting about, and thinking of a good topic for my English speech, I happened to look at our backyard fence. It appeared to be more like a bush instead of a fence, because of various types of vines that had clambered their way up. Then my mind shifted from the fence to the vines, and I recalled that one time there used to be a squash vine amongst them.
We were quite surprised to find the squash vine placed with what seemed to be useless vines. Going around to our neighbors, we asked if any of them planted squash near our fence. However, no one did and nobody knew who planted it. Then, one neighbor said, “Perhaps God planted it”.
We sometimes call our family “The Most Traveled Family in the World”. Although often stated as a joke since we have not the facts and figures to prove the title we call ourselves, it is no falsehood for we do travel a lot. We’ve journeyed to various places in the Philippines, as far as General Santos, Cotabato in the south, to the east, Borongan, Samar, west, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, and up to Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. For distances as far as Manila, Cavite, and Batangas, we have trips almost two to three times a week.
In addition to all those traveling, we have also changed addresses of our dwelling places. In fact, in all my seventeen years, we have moved from house to house for almost ten times! There were even times when we had to stay at one place for a week and go to another place the week after. But you know, in all those packing and unpacking, and restless traveling, I was learning things of great value.
One thing I learnt was flexibility. Being in a military family, we experienced having calls and sudden decisions to be made. Anytime, in at least ten minutes, we should’ve been able to pack clothes and other necessities, and ready to go. (This was one cause why we were homeschooled; it was easy to take our schoolwork with us.)
Next to flexibility, another character that was built in me was contentment. I remember wishing I could have a pet, but I knew that due to our frequent trips, it would be impossible. So, I gave up wishing, and made myself happy having our good watchdog around. Such small things, but if you’re happy and satisfied with small things, you will be content with big things. “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Content to sleep on the floor of the car, content to eat whatever is given, yes, it was happy contentment in all things.
While these are good traits to have, the most important lesson I learnt was to bloom wherever God planted me. We moved houses, had different neighbors, saw different cultures, but in everything that had happened, God saw it fit to use us in every place He put us in. I have thus learnt that God will choose to put us in places where He wants us to serve Him, and we must rely on His leading for our life and simply do our best for our Lord Jesus Christ.
“Perhaps God planted it.” Yes, I believe God planted it. No one knew who planted it, no one watered it, no one cared to tend to it, but still it grew and its flowers bloomed. In time, the flowers turned to fruit, and we were able to enjoy it in many meals and even share with our neighbors. The squash vine bloomed where God planted it and God used it to feed families and be a blessing. In a way, we are like this vine–planted, watered, and tended by God. Should we not do our best for Him in any place He puts us, just like this squash that bloomed?