Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

Today's sermon at Trinity focused around the Gospel lesson, in Luke 13:1-9, the parable of the fig tree. I thought about a tree of my own out at my farm.

I’ll tell you a story about my plum tree.

In 2001 I put in a nice plum tree sapling. A couple years go by and no fruit at all. Blooms nice, no fruit. At this point I’m thinkin’, “Well gee whiz, you think the stupid little thing could at least make ONE plum. I know it’s little, but it’s a PLUM TREE and it ought to have enough of what it takes to make a plum. This tree is probably going to be a loser.”

Then for a couple years I get a handful of puny little plums on it. I’m thinking, “I dunno. I don’t think this tree is worth squat. Maybe I ought to just rip it out and get a different one.” But I don’t, mostly b/c I’m too lazy to do anything about it.

Then last summer, the thing just BUSTS OUT in fruit. That thing was literally COVERED in plums. I had so many I took a bag of them to the office and gave them to Karen, who makes jam every summer and brings everyone in the office some.

But I was assigning blame to that tree. Not enough sun, not a very good tree, maybe I got an ornamental even though the tag said “bears fruit”, blah blah. But that blame kept me from doing anything with it (like putting some “donkey briquettes” around it, which I certainly have plenty of around here.). Maybe it would have borne fruit faster if I’d taken a little more care with it...ME...not everything else being wrong with it.

There’s definitely a parable in that. Look how long I was skeptical before anything good happened. I gave up on a “reward.” I figured I was just destined to put up with less. But then I get a reward beyond what I imagined. That’s what God does. When you gave up, He hadn’t. And you get a reward, not because you were terribly faithful, per se, but because God just does that kind of stuff. Then what did I do with all that bounty? I took what I needed, then gave the rest away. That’s what God wants us to do with the bounty he gives us. He doesn’t care you gave up, He blesses you anyway. But your job after that is not to hoard it, but to give it away, after filling yourself up.

Part of the message of Lent is to prune, pare down, give up. But there is another message. You have to feed things to get them to grow; when they grow to abundance (even DESPITE anything you've done or the fact you've done nothing), you have to take only your portion and give the rest away.



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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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