I believe very much that we need to push ourselves. We need to be able to take the next step, work hard, find out that we can persevere in hardship, and find within us the ability to get the job done if at all possible. We need to be able to press on because doing so is very important.
We need to know that we can go the extra mile, not as a matter of pride, but as a matter of knowing that what we are doing is important for us and others.
Equally important is to know when to stop for the purpose of replenishment and restoration. Knowing when to stop is a litmus test to identify the difference between ego-centered pride versus genuine heart-connected purpose.
Yesterday, I was doing some writing on our back porch. Beyond the back porch is a courtyard full of our plants. The day was hot, especially for late September in middle Tennessee. One of the plants that has large leaves and is about five feet tall was drooping over in the heat. Its leaves hung limp from top to bottom along the stalk.
My first thought was that I would water it later when I watered everything on the courtyard that afternoon. All the other plants seemed okay, though the one that was drooping had been blasted by the sun most of the day. I sort of figured that it could “wait in line” like all the rest of the plants, tough it out. You know, “that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
Finally, I just couldn’t take it. I got up and watered it and a couple of others before going back to writing about relationship, life, love, leadership, and caring. Within five minutes, the leaves had risen and were stretched back out to receive the sun. One shot of water and five minutes replenished and restored the plant.
The name of the plant is an Angel Trumpet. It can grow up to seven feet tall, has a tough stalk that almost requires a saw to bring it down. If cared for, its blooms can be larger than two hands, and its sweet scent is remarkable in terms of how far it can reach. All it needed was some water and five minutes.
Its leaves had dropped in need. It “knew” its limits. It needed some water and five minutes to get back to doing its “trumpeting.” The Angel Trumpet passed the litmus test. It had no ego-centric pride. I often fail the test.