By Joe Rector

I find it interesting how living things start at one point and manage take it to a grander level. It’s a fascinating aspect about all things. A flower starts as a seed or a bulb. Given the right kind of soil and nutrients, those beginnings grow and eventually produce buds. Before we know it, those buds blossom into beautiful flowers that decorate our yards and tables. That blossoming is even more remarkable when it occurs in humans.

One example of blossoming of a person is my friend Mike Graham. Mike joined the band that plays for the first service at our church. He recalled that he was excited about the new “gig,” but he questioned his skills and abilities to perform with the group. Mike practiced at home and even put in hours on Saturday nights before next day services.

As each Sunday passed, he became a bit more comfortable playing in the band. Now, Mike is performing with confidence and has featured solos in many songs. I’ve enjoyed the music, but more than that, I’ve enjoyed watching Mike blossom into a good guitar player.

My dear wife had little confidence in herself as a younger woman. She worried that she couldn’t complete jobs for which she was hired, even though she possessed the skills to do so and proved herself to be a highly intelligent individual. Over the years, Amy has changed jobs when the opportunity to grow presented itself. She worked diligently as she earned her credentials as a certified human resources specialist. In the jobs she held, Amy has led with compassion and competency, and most of the folks with whom she has worked and directed sing her praises. From a shy, unsure person, she has blossomed into a qualified professional with exceptional skills.

My two children have also grown and blossomed. Lacey was always a driven person who knew precisely what kind of work she wanted to pursue. She dove into college with determination, and by the time she graduated, her professors recognized her abilities and rewarded it. In her work life, she has grown from an entry-level person to someone who is well-versed in licensing and other legal aspect of the music industry.

Dallas took a slower path. For much of his life, he took an uncommitted approach to school. However, at some point during college, he decided to get serious, and then he made short work of his schooling. He worked part time jobs and took a full time one at the Chattanooga Choo-Choo for a while. Then he found his comfort spot working for a large company. He has worked hard to learn many of the phases of work in his department and now is a specialist in that area. He’s ready for a new challenge in a different department when openings arise. Dallas’ aggressive attitude and dedication to his work is so much different from those earlier years.

That ability to blossom is within each person. It only needs a bit of nurturing to come to the forefront. Once that happens, the openings for the person into new worlds or roles are unlimited. The determination to seek that newness is stifled by fear sometimes. At other times, the amount of energy necessary to grow and change is more than a person is willing to devote. Regardless of the negatives, blossoming is something beautiful to behold as it unfolds before our eyes.