Analyze, if you would please, the leaf diagram pictured.
What do you notice?
Perhaps you are wondering, as I did, what tree each leaf comes from.
Trees are generally classified as either deciduous or coniferous. Deciduous trees change color and lose their leaves in the fall, such as Sugar Maples and Black Walnut. Coniferous trees have needles instead of leaves and do not change color or lose their needles in the fall, such as Fraser Firs and Redwoods. There is also the exceedingly rare classification of “deciduous conifers” that take characteristics of both.
The key thing I noticed is each leaf is uniquely different. Each leaf from each and every tree has unique characteristics. Different sizes, specific shapes, and their veins have distinct patterns. From my in-depth research (thanks Google!) I learned the arrangement of veins in a leaf is called the “venation pattern” and that monocot leaves have parallel venation, while dicots have reticulate venation.” Fascinating!
People are a lot like leaves. We are each uniquely different, come in different size, shapes, and colors, and we have very distinct patterns… just check out my wrinkled forehead! And, again, just like the millions of beautiful leaves, we each other a unique gift to the world.
It’s true. We are each a unique gift.
President Russell M. Nelson, speaking in the October 1998 General Conference, referred to the beautiful gifts we are as Children of God. I am intrigued by his beautiful perspective listed here.
“Your body, whatever its natural gifts, is a magnificent creation of God. It is a tabernacle of flesh–a temple for your spirit. A study of your body attests to its divine design.”
“The spirit is eternal; it existed in innocence in the premortal realm and will exist after the body dies. The spirit provides the body with animation and personality. ‘All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure.’ “
“A perfect body is not required to achieve a divine destiny. In fact, some of the sweetest spirits are housed in frail frames. Great spiritual strength is often developed by those with physical challenges precisely because they are challenged. Such individuals are entitled to all the blessings that God has in store for His faithful and obedient children.”
“How should these truths influence our personal behavior? We should gratefully acknowledge God as our Creator. Otherwise, we would be as guilty as goldfish swimming in a bowl, oblivious to the goodness of their provider. ‘Ye must give thanks unto God,’ said the Lord, ‘for whatsoever blessing ye are blessed with.’ And we can practice virtue and holiness before Him continually.”
Consider these questions as you ponder who you are as a child of God:
• Do you choose to believe you are a unique gift?
• How do you see your uniqueness blessing others?
• What will you do to increase the gifts you are creating?
As you ponder, may one of my gifts help open your heart to the beautiful and wonderful gift you truly are!
MY UNIQUE GIFT
By Les Patterson
In my wrinkles
I bring an aged beauty
A gift of honored acceptance
In my weaknesses
I bring a gift of compassion
From one who truly understands
In my confidence
I bring a degree of hope
A gift for myself and others
In my uniqueness
I bring perspective
A gift we each can offer
In my life
I bring the gift of love
That such might be felt by all
“Who are we?” President Nelson asks in summary. “We are children of God. Our potential is unlimited. Our inheritance is sacred. May we always honor that heritage–in every thought and deed.”
Leaf image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay