As I was driving on the freeway the other day with a friend of mine, I was excitedly overwhelmed with the beautiful flowers lining the road.
At one point in our drive I couldn’t contain my happiness anymore and I finally shrieked out, “Oh my goodness! Isn’t it CRAZY how BEAUTIFUL this is??? I can’t even handle it! It’s SO PRETTY!”
My friend was silent a moment before she burst out in confused laughter.
“What in the world are you talking about??? I was just thinking about how ugly this drive is!”
Confused, I explained…
“Huh? Ugly? Do you not like sunflowers??? I think they are absolutely BEAUTIFUL! And they’re lining the entire road! I LOVE THEM.”
Surprised, my friend explained that she had been so busy looking at the dry, brown desert that she had not even noticed the sunflowers in front of it.
I looked up and realized she was right, we were surrounded by a boring brown desert, and I hadn’t even noticed because I was so excited about the sunflowers.
I’ve thought a lot about this small experience in the weeks since it happened, and I’ve paused several times during moments of frustration or to remind myself to “stop looking at the desert when there are plenty of sunflowers lining the road”.
There may be times in life where our view isn’t so pretty. Sometimes we are stuck driving through a boring, ugly desert instead of the beautiful canyon or ocean view we would rather be looking at. But I’ve learned that when life sticks us in a desert, there are usually a few sunflowers scattered along the way.
Choose to see the sunflowers.