The term late bloomer took on an enlarged meaning for me last year. In early winter, I noticed that the butterfly bush in our simple, backyard perennial garden had really blossomed and grown. And I kept seeing a lone yellow butterfly fluttering around it, pausing every now and then to taste of the plant’s sweet nectar.
A little late for the season for both bush and insect, I thought.
Just for today, let’s focus on the butterfly. Every day, I saw this same beautiful butterfly, drinking from the tasty buds all by itself. I wondered if butterflies ever got lonely, but decided it was enjoying the late blooms too much to worry about being alone.
Does That Butterfly Represent You?
What could that butterfly represent to you? Did you grow up thinking you could’ve won the “Most Likely Not to Succeed” contest? Were you always the last chosen for a sports team? Instead of the “top 10% of your class,” did you barely pass–or even repeat a grade or two? Have the winters of your life left their scars, but you persisted and finally moved on?
Are You a Late Bloomer?
Have you just begun a new vocation or interest, and you’re now discovering new fields, new adventures, and new opportunities? Did you start late enough to call yourself a late bloomer–one who is experiencing a measure of success or simple joys later in life, rather than early on?
Have you spent numerous “winters”–fruitless years living totally for yourself? And you’ve just now discovered late in life the joy of becoming one of God’s children? Did someone introduce you to Jesus, and for you, has true “life” just begun?
Life Can Be Lonely
Regardless of what that butterfly represents to you, and no matter where you are, life for late bloomers may at times seem lonely. What about all the younger butterflies who have tasted the simple nectar already and have flown on to greater gardens more majestic and beautiful than yours? Here you are fluttering around in basic garden surroundings.
Am I the Only One?
Yet this butterfly in my garden had obviously found satisfaction and fulfillment late in the season–even past the normal time of productivity for both plant and creature. I imagined that little insect marveling at its blessings, but at the same time thinking, “Am I the only one?”
Several days later I walked quietly to the garden to snag a picture of that butterfly. Imagine my surprise when an array of 3-4 friendly butterflies now fluttered around that same butterfly bush–all enjoying and tasting the full fruits late in the season. Word must have spread.
Life As a Writer
Do you consider yourself one of those late bloomers in an area of your life? Sometimes I do, at least in writing. I started writing over 35 years ago and have enjoyed a measure of “success,” as some would call it. But early on, one year I netted over 1000 rejects in the process of writing greeting cards. I had always wanted to write a book, but I was in my 40’s before my first book was published. And it was several years later before a publisher accepted another one. God taught me persistence often, but He kept blessing my efforts.
Age Is Not the Prime Factor
In today’s world people may change careers several times in a lifetime–even seniors. Age is not really the prime factor for labeling one a late bloomer. At times you may wonder, “Am I the only one?”
Then we meet another and another, and before long we are fellowshipping with lots of late bloomers. And that just makes the sweet nectar taste even better.
God Has Room for Late Bloomers
God still has plenty of room for late bloomers. If you can breathe, that means you’re alive. God still has a purpose for you, and the best years may still be coming. Even though she was not a woman of faith, I like the quote attributed to George Eliot: “It’s never too late to become what you might have been.”
At any rate, wherever you are in life, still at the caterpillar stage, pulling and pushing to develop your wings and fly, crawling and inching your way to your goal, feasting on great gardens of grandeur, or simply just discovering the wonderful taste of good things late in life, God wants to bless you and use you, and feed you–with the finest of nectar: His own sweet fellowship.
“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. they will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green” (Psalm 92:12-14, NIV).
My Personal Prayer for You
Lord, help us to find joy and satisfaction in life no matter what season we are in. Bless all those who consider themselves “late bloomers,” and fulfill your purpose for them. Open up new avenues of service and usefulness for them. Give them new dreams and show them your truths about their lives and their future. Fill them with the joyful nectar of your sweet fellowship.
You might also enjoy this post I wrote called, Five Ways to Embrace the Seasons of Life.
It’s Your Turn
What about you? Have you ever felt like a late bloomer? How have you overcome any difficulties in that season? You can always write me through my contact page. Just fill out the basic name and address info, and then the email will come to me. Your name or info will never be shared with anyone without your permission.
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