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Friday, October 20, 2006

On Fruit...

I was taking a break yesterday and I had a banana, an apple, and some yogurt to choose from. Nothing seemed that appealing (no pun intended), but I went with the banana first. When it comes to bananas I like just barely yellow-almost green stage. Once they are bruised…they become banana bread or go to my husband who prefers them very ripe….blechhhhhhh!

I guess I should let you know that I love fruit BUT…I’m very picky about it. I handle, sniff, press, and do everything short of actually tasting the fruit prior to making my choices. We’re at the time of year when the selections are dwindling and you have to be careful about the ‘summer fruits’ because they probably won’t have the same flavor/taste as they would in peak season.

I peel open my pleasingly perfect-to-the-eye banana. It’s got just the right amount of resistance as I peel the skin back. I break off a part of the banana and take a bite. It seems a bit TOO hard…TOO new. I take another bite and sure enough it’s just not ready yet. Bummer dude!

I throw the poor ‘baby banana’ away and decide to have my yogurt. I open the container. It’s the ‘Yoplait Light, Mixed Berry’. I’m a bit picky about yogurt too and suffice to say it wasn’t ‘hitting it’ today, so I discarded it after two bites.

Now I’m down to the apple and I had a Macintosh and Granny Smith at home and I brought my favorite…the Granny Smith. I love their tart crisp taste. I decided not to cut it…rather just take a bite and eat it whole.

SOURRRRRRRRRR! Yikes…too sour…more sour than usual and unacceptable. I also realize I had to bite really hard to actually get the taste I had. At first taste, I thought perhaps it was due to the lingering yogurt sweetness, but upon a second bite that thought is dispelled. It’s too young and hard still. It was probably picked early to ripen in the store and it apparently arrived to close to the picking time. Bummer dude!

Now I go back to my office to finish my coffee and lament my snack-lack with another hour and a half till lunchtime. Good grief!

I thought that perhaps I should ease my fruit selection process and select some bruised or ‘aged’ fruit as it may be more ready to eat. I’ve had (what I consider) overdone bananas in the past and they are very sweet…albeit too soft for my palate, but very, very sweet to taste. I also thought of the ‘older’ Granny Smiths and how much easier they are to consume. They may have some dings and bruises, but they have that perfect combination of sweet/sour that I love.

Then it dawned on me what God was trying to teach me in that fruity lesson.

We are the fruit of His vine. When we are too young and immature, our fruit is not READY. It takes months, sometimes years to be grown to the sweetness that is maturity. Only then can we be consumed and appreciated and give back to the vine, our seed.

God reminded me in my own ‘dream’ that I am just now coming to the point of maturity when I am ‘ripe enough’ to move to the next stage. He reminded me to be aware of the immature fruit that are trying to pass themselves off as ripe. They may appear ready externally, but just like the grocery store, their looks are deceiving. They are still hard inside, with little give. They must be matured and softened. I must be matured and softened!

He also reminded me to be weary of the OVERLY ripe fruit. The fruit that has been hanging on the vine for dear life, for so long, that the minute you lay a finger on it, it falls to pieces. It has hung on the vine for too long and has now outlived any usefulness. Sounds a bit harsh, but truly we’ve all had overly ripe fruit…it ferments on the vine and threatens to kill the remainder of the vine unless it is pruned away. When consumed, the fermented fruit makes us drunk and distracts from our purpose.

God wants us ripe, mature…but He also wants us to produce and to bear more fruit…to provide life…rather than waiting for life to be provided, as it passes by.

I may not be as PRETTY as the young fruit appears on the outside, but it’s what’s on the inside that matters…trust me…trust HIM! And I refuse to hang on that vine when He has called me to go bear more fruit. I won’t become fermented and unusable!

Praise GOD! My fruit is almost ready!

Are you craving a piece of fruit now? Have a wonderfully fruity Friday!


HeyJules said...

Yes, I am! But feel free to give that overripe banana to your husband. I'm with you - get 'em while they're good!

Tami Boesiger said...

Your last two posts remind me of a post you had a while back when you were feeling caught between whether you should pursue your dream or wait on God. It seems to me God is revealing His plans for you, but telling you it's not quite time yet--you still need to mature and ripen. I have felt the same frustration over this issue myself and have decided God tells us as we wait to be faithful to what He has given us to do. I dream of seeing books with my name on them, but with four children at home and being a pastor's wife there is little time to write. I'm not sure what your dream is, but have a feeling it's something similar and your job takes time away from pursuing it. For both of us, God asks us to be faithful to what He has given us now. If you are to quit your job, He will make that clear. Part of our maturing/ripening process is to trust Him, wait on Him and obey Him. Unless He is asking you to do something you're not doing, you have to remain faithful to what is in your life right now. Waiting is frustrating (especially when our husbands seem to be in reach of their dreams), but I believe it is essential in our maturity process.

One day at a time, friend. Don't get too far ahead of yourself. What do you know you should do TODAY?

His Singer said...

This one spoke to me, Kim.

Sometimes I feel like I'm already rotting on the vine, but then God shows me how very green I am, always in a new way.

Keep learning!

Morning Glory said...

Who woulda thought your snack for break time would be such good blog, I mean food for thought. (pun intended). Seriously, this was good to read, Kim.

And I'm with you on the not-quite-ripe bananas. I buy them slightly green too. Sorry the break was so disappointing!

Kristen said...

Oh my word, Kim. You amaze me with your ability to take your fruit snack and see an object lesson in it! If only I could be more like you! Great, great post. You're awesome.

(and I like my bananas the same way you do!)

Joy M. said...

Kim, you amaze me at how you take everyday things and see something special.

I always wished I could do that with my kids. It is such a good way to teach.

Dawn said...

Again I say it, you have such an amazing mind that takes the t hings of life and turns them into a spiritual lesson. I love that! That's the way the Women of Faith are. Maybe you'll travel with them someday! I'll be able to say I "knew" you when ...

Great stuff - but I have to have my bananas JUST SO - but no green at all.

Serenity said...

I so agree with the other posters on how you can take every day things and turn them into something meaningful.

Nancy said...

Thanks for sharing. I love your "object" lessons. You have such a talent in your head... or is it in your fingers? Either way it is a gift from God...or is your fruit from the vine?

Claire Joy said...

You threw it away!!! A perfectly good banana?
(Can you tell I live in a convent where frugality and the whole waste-not-want-not routine is the plan of the day?) What about the banana bread? Freeze those suckers and use them the next time you make muffins. (I'll give you my recipe.)

R.G. said...

What a beautiful analogy! I was struck by that extra hard and sour Granny Smith apple. I think I get that way sometimes. I feel like I am hardening my heart and I am SOUR about everything. When I recognize it I alway pray that God would soften my heart. I guess I can just shorten that to "Ripen me, God!" Thanks for the great thoughts.

tam said...

Do you see how God blesses you my friend? You are already in action dear one!

What blessings you bring with your "fruit of the Spirit"...(hehe) couldn't resist, I so wish you could see what I do!

(must admit, claire joy spoke what my initial reaction was! "Save that banana for drying or freezing or ripening!!!) ditto for apple, the yogurt...well, what can I say...the real kind of yogurt impresses me..fruity tooty not so much!)

Grafted Branch said...

That's how I like my bananas too!

I think you make some good observations here...fruit has been on my mind of late too.