In Your Own Sweet Time

I love things that take their own sweet time. I love the beauty of late-bloomers. I love unexpected fruitfulness after years of waiting. After all these years of living with flair, I’ve learned that waiting pays off. God’s timing is never wrong. In fact, He’s setting you up for some kind of marvelous moment. Just you wait.

This morning–finally!–the young ginkgo tree decided to start letting its leaves change to that signature gold. We were worried. We wondered if our tree would ever turn colors. I even researched the problem. What could we do? Every other tree in the neighborhood boasted beautiful autumn leaves weeks ago. The other, older ginkgo trees had long ago blessed the neighborhood with golden leaves. They then dropped their leaves in acrobatic displays. They then stretched bare limbs to the sky.

But our tree? Green. Nothing. Not one sign of adherence to right timing or following the crowd or expected performance. We thought the leaves might just one day fall in all their greenness without ever having their moment of glory.

But wait! Once we’d raked all the fallen leaves, once we’d started walking and gazing at the bare, stark trees, and once we’d given up all hope of golden leaves, the ginkgo burst onto the autumn stage. Glorious in the lateness of it, magnificent in the solitary beauty of a tree who now gets all the attention, the little ginkgo wins the prize. And it only happened with the timing all wrong that then made everything right.

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