Mid-April is seasonally prime time to view tulips in full bloom in the Netherlands. We knew this when we got there, and had high expectations of seeing a multitude of tulip fields in full bloom.
When Kathy and I rented bicycles, and pedaled south of Haarlem to ride through the blooming tulip fields, we were disappointed. There were no tulip blooms to be seen anywhere! Residents told us that the winter had been long, hard and cold, and the tulips were three weeks late. Bummers.
As I stared at the flowerless tulip fields and wondered “What now?” I thought about Mary Baker Eddy’s instruction to resolve things into thoughts. She wrote,
“Metaphysics resolves things into thoughts, and exchanges the objects of sense for the ideas of Soul” (Science and Health, p. 269).
What was the thought behind the “thing” of a tulip? I asked.
I decided that in this case, it was beauty. Beauty is a quality of God that is ever-present throughout all of divine creation. It’s everywhere at all times, and one can always find it with spiritual sense.
So, I turned off my material desire to see a blooming material tulip, and tuned into my spiritual sense of seeing God’s beauty everywhere in whatever form it takes. We got on our bikes and continued to pedal. And what did we find? Lots of beauty, beauty everywhere! It was in the form of blooming daffodils and hyacinths.
|More daffodils, and a train we rode frequently|
We saw many awesome displays that we never expected to see.
We rode our bikes many kilometers, taking in one beautiful scene after another.
I learned a lesson to not get my heart set on any particular material scenario. It may not work out. But when you focus on beholding an idea of God, what appears to be lost can be found again, just perhaps not in the form you thought it was going to appear.