Lily of the Valley
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Lily of the Valley

Living in New England is a delightful experience of constant change.  This coming week our maples will turn scarlet reds and yellows followed by the rust colors of the oaks.  The birches are already yellow.  Then November will be a beautiful worstered gray as we wait for December to turn us white.  I relish knowing that under that layer of snow, life is getting ready to once again turn us green.   Each spring we have a pleasing patch of Lily of the Valley.  For years I have been picking small bunches for our breakfast table.  They smell so good.

Well, you can imagine my horror just today to learn that Lily of the Valley is extremely poisonous.  According to the Wikipedia website Lily of the Valley contains about thirty-eight cardio glycosides and we should wash our hands after handling it.  How could it be that something so lovely, something that smells so good be so dangerous?

When we are first born our sense of right and wrong is completely based upon our feelings.  If it feels good it’s right.   If it hurts it’s bad.  If it’s pretty and smells good it is right.  It’s a very low standard of morality.  Unfortunately occasionally we meet people whose morality has never advanced from that of a newborn.  The closing words to the romantic song “You Light Up My Life” are “How can it be wrong when it feels so right?”  It is difficult to grasp the truth that some seemingly beautiful relationships can be absolutely toxic.

Paul exhorts us in 1 Corinthians 13 to stop thinking like a child and think like a grownup whose sense of right and wrong are based on God’s Word.

Written by Roger Bothwell on October 11, 2011

Spring of Life Ministry, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574