Sitting in our dining room is a plant that has captured my curiosity. No matter what direction his pot is turned he will grow toward the sunlight coming in the window.
I entertained myself by rotating the pot every several days and watching the plant respond by growing in a new direction. Apparently it doesn’t take much to entertain me. There were times when the shoots of that plant appeared willing to crawl down the side of the pot and across the table to reach the light coming from the window.
My curiosity led me to the name for this quest my plant is on. It is called heliotropism. Heliotropism is the habit of some plants to move toward the light of the sun.
Until the 19th century, it was believed that heliotropism was a passive response of the plant that dealt somehow with the loss of moisture on one side. However, botanists discovered that it was an active growth response in the plant. Heliotropic flowers reveal that they were designed for this.
Just below their blooms is a segment that allows the flower to track the sun across the sky every day.
As I consider the design and behavior of my plant, 1 John 1:5-7 comes to mind. John writes, “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”
I want to have the same eagerness to grow, reaching for more light, knowing the source of life and strength. I want to be active in my pursuit of the light that gives fellowship and purity.
Lord, help us walk in the light.
Joel Gay is Pastor of Wilmington Church of the Nazarene.