We feel small and weak, but we are gathered together to signify the power of God who transforms death into life. That is our hope, that God is doing the impossible: changing death to life inside of each of us, and that perhaps, through our community, each one of us can be agents in the world of this transformation of brokenness into wholeness, and of death into life. -Jean Vanier
NOTE: The retreat plan for this half day event is available on the Words for Worship: Liturgy page of this website.
Call to Worship based on 1 Corinthians 12: 1-11
Leader: Come and learn, God’s gifts await.
ALL: We come, ready to receive.
Leader: Turn away from “false gods,” silent and demanding.
ALL: We turn toward God, from whom all blessings flow.
Leader: Come, celebrate the many gifts of the one Spirit.
ALL: We come rejoicing in many ministries and one Lord.
Leader: Come, learn and celebrate the Spirit’s activity in our midst.
ALL: We come to see each other’s gifts, to celebrate each other’s ministries.
Leader: Come to the connection Christ is creating
ALL: We come to hear wisdom, to seek knowledge,
to share faith, to witness miracles in the making.
Leader, Come, bless the one LORD, from whom all gifts and grace flow.
ALL: We come.
THE DAFFODIL PRINCIPLE
By Jaroleen Edwards
Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, "Mother, you must come see the daffodils before they're over." I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead. "I'll come next Tuesday," I promised, a little reluctantly on her third call.
Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I'd promised, so I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn's house and hugged and greeted my grandchildren, I said, "Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road was invisible in the clouds and fog, and there's nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see bad enough to drive another inch!" My daughter smiled calmly and said, "We drive in this all the time, Mother." "Well, you won't get me back on the road until it clears, and then I'm heading for home!" I assured her. "I was hoping you'd take me over to the garage to pick up my car."
"How far will we have to drive?" "Just a few blocks," Carolyn said. "I'll drive. I'm used to this." After several minutes, I had to ask, "Where are we going? This isn't the way to the garage!" "We're going to my garage the long way," Carolyn smiled, "by way of the daffodils." "Carolyn," I said sternly, "please turn around." "It's all right, Mother, I promise. You'll never forgive yourself if you miss this experience."
After about twenty minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw a small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand-lettered sign that read, "Daffodil Garden." We got out of the car and each took a child's hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path.
Then, we turned a corner of the path, and I looked up and gasped. Before me lay the most glorious sight. It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it down over the mountain peak and slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns-great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, saffron, and butter yellow. Each different-colored variety was planted as a group so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue. There were five acres of flowers.
"But who has done this?" I asked Carolyn. "It's just one woman," Carolyn answered. "She lives on the property. That's her home." Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A- frame house that looked small and modest in the midst of all that glory. We walked up to the house.
On the patio, we saw a poster. "Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking" was the headline.
The first answer was a simple one: "50,000 bulbs," it read.
The second answer was, "One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and very little brain."
The third answer was, "Began in 1958."
There it was, The Daffodil Principle. For me, that moment was a life-changing experience. I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than forty years before, had begun-one bulb at a time-to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountain top. Still, just planting one bulb at a time, year after year, had changed the world. This unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. She had created something of ineffable magnificence, beauty, and inspiration.
The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration. That is, learning to move toward our goal and desires one step at a time-often just one baby-step at a time-and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world.