bulbLast week during a trip to Aldi I picked up a bulb vase. I’ve always thought these vases were neat windows into something we don’t normally get to see. The deep purple hyacinth bulb’s white roots dangled in the water and a half dozen green leaves shot upward. Tucked deep down between the leaves were a couple buds. The next day the leaves were inches taller and the buds began to emerge. Less than a week passed before the periwinkle blooms filled the house with the smell of spring.

What a lovely visual of growth and change.

When I heard that one of the most popular guys from high school became a pastor I was surprised. While my impression of a pastor has certainly evolved over time, it still wasn’t a career path I saw as typical. This guy arrived to our school from California and my recollection of him is that he was different. Different in a confident, charismatic way. Two qualities I didn’t possess. I wasn’t part of the popular crowd, so my observations were from a distance, but it looked to me like he had it all figured out.

So when I learned his first book was coming out I was intrigued and decided to make Beginnings by Steve Wiens my book selection for February. On the very first page of the introduction I learned Steve had the same doubts and struggles as the rest of us. A reminder that the popular kids and the pastors are human too.IMG_3200

The book explores the seven days of creation and relates it to daily life. Steve’s love of God and language are evident. Each chapter concludes with tips to help review and implement what you’ve learned. That’s the nuts and bolts of the book.

The beauty of the book is in it’s title, Beginnings. Life is full of change. Some of it is painful and unexpected. Some is so subtle we don’t realize it has happened. Sometimes change is needed and we don’t see it. Sometimes we seek it. Sometimes we resist it. What I enjoyed most about the book was its hopeful view of change. Every change is an opportunity for a new beginning.

The story of creation is a grand tale. Impossible to comprehend. As my seven year old and I read children’s bible stories he will comment that he really likes the stories, but they are sometimes hard to believe. God is like that – beautiful and overwhelming. Steve makes for a knowledgeable tour guide through not only those first seven days, but how they are applicable to our lives today.

It is his belief, and mine, that we are all full of potential. I also believe that many of us suppress that potential. The thought of the life we might have is beautiful, but hard to believe. Steve uses the genesis of life to illustrate how to embrace our potential. It isn’t going to be easy. You will have to stretch in new directions, accept the season, face some fears, change some habits, and be vulnerable.

As spring approaches consider all the growth that occurs. Tiny seeds buried in darkness find the right time to burst into the light and grow into something entirely new. They transform from a mere spec to a vibrant plant that bears flower and food. The tiny seeds don’t give up because it is dark or difficult, they know what we try to suppress, greatness is within. We all have something uniquely ours to offer the world.

If you are feeling stuck or need to be reminded that it is never too late to begin anew, read Beginnings. Then put the work in to embrace your potential and bloom.