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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Fruit, fruit and more fruit.

I suppose that my favorite fruit would either be the raspberry, blueberry or mango's. It is hard for me to pick just one as they all have their seasons when they are more flavorful than others and seasons they have little to no taste or they are pulpy.
The same could most likely be argued for spiritual fruit. I read through Galatians 5, just past the works of the flesh section and come to verse 22-26. I believe I do better with some than others and depending on the season of life that may change as often as, oh say, by the hour.
Like many pastors I thought this would be a great summer series, called summer shorts, to preach on. Families will be in and out and visitors here and there but they won't be coming in on part 4 of a 12 part series. Each fruit is to be a focus all of its own and so whoever is there for the week can work on this one specific fruit.
I believe that is where the idea went wrong. How could anyone take a fruit and not desire the whole fruit salad. (that was a metaphor, of course) Love without patience or faithfulness that doesn't bring about joy, would be crazy. Now I do believe the logical thing to do is take bite size pieces, or maybe I should call them grapes. We can pop grapes all day. We throw it in the air, catch it in our mouths and "pop", instant refreshment. Our spiritual fruit will have the same effect only it will last much longer than the juice of a plump, ripe, grape.
This week my sermon will be on patience and as most of you can expect I am not praying for patience but for an effective understanding of patience and the impact it has upon our life and relationships. If I were to pray for a new truck that could take years to be answered, but one mention of patience in my prayers and before I ever finish my prayer the phone rings. "Don't answer that" is my first response, and to be honest usually wins only postponing the lesson. When I finally get around to it, my thought never goes to a juicy grape bursting forth its hidden delight onto my tongue and over my gums splashing the walls of my mouth, like a kayak on the rapids. Patience never seems to be that refreshing to me, at least short term. I am reminded of the way that some Bibles define the word patience, long suffering. The idea is that we will endure in a humble and gentle way to all the irritants we face. It doesn't matter if its your family, work, church, bank, other drivers, Facebook, or twitter posts, patience is humble and gentle.
So next time your eating your fruit salad, remember slow and steady wins the race. Don't get hung up on your failures. Patience gives you the ability to practice again. After all patience is needed when you face someone who desires their advancement, comfort or recognition over yours, as much as you do over them. Something to think about this week.
Till next time.