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ORRIN MORRIS: Sacred lotus reminds us of spiritual thirst

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Today we examine a wildflower that lives in water. Without slow running, fresh water, this plant will die. Thus the devotional thought focuses on two verses where Jesus referred to the spiritual thirst all humans have.

The first reference is the beatitude that reads, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied" Matt. 5:6. Jesus made this as a pronouncement. The person who deeply yearns for a wholesome relationship with God is a blessed and satisfied person. The Creator God made us to be restless until we appropriately relate to Him.

In John 6:35 Jesus explained the simple approach to finding true satisfaction for that emptiness. He stated "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst."

We approach Him in prayer begging that our spiritual hunger be satisfied. With the best of intentions, we pledge to trust in, rely on and cling to His counsel and guidance (believe in Him). Part of His counsel is in the Bible, but of greater significance is the daily practice of that faith when we trust His counsel as we apply the truths of the Bible to everyday situations through prayer.

It sounds simple and is simple when we quit playing God in our life and the lives of others.

SACRED LOTUS

Nelumbo nucifera

There are two members of the lotus family that can survive in this area, the American lotus (Nelumbo lutea) and the sacred lotus. I have chose the sacred lotus because I have seen it growing in a pond in Rockdale County. Besides that, it is prettiest.

The American lotus petals are pale yellow with little differentiation within the cup-shaped petals. The petals of the sacred lotus are white with lavender fringes. The seed case that looks like an inverted cone is a golden yellow for both plants.

The lotus plants grow from large rhizomes in the mud bottom of the lake, stream or pond. The flowers rise on stout stems from 12 to 24 inches above the top of the water. The leaves are very large, 12 to 24 inches across, and rise 6 to 12 inches above the water.

The bloom of the sacred lotus measures from 6 to 9 inches across. Around the seed case are the stamens. The several pistils are imbedded in the openings across the top of the seed case.

The blooming season for the sacred lotus is from July to September, while the American lotus may start a month earlier. After pollination the petals fall away and the seed case remains erect. As this case dries, it seals the seed so completely that they remain viable for centuries.

The American lotus is a more hardy variety than the sacred lotus. Its range extends into New England while the sacred lotus is rarely seen north of North Carolina.

You are as unique as the lotus and you are sacred in God's sight, too. Let God be the God of your life and yield your will to Him as His child through Jesus Christ.

Orrin Morris is a retired Baptist minister, local artist and art teacher. Notecards are available of the wildflowers published in the Citizen. His email is odmsketchingpad@yahoo.com or call him at 770-929-3697.