The first time a physical therapist showed up on my door step to evaluate Christina for services, I’m fairly certain I was as warm and welcoming as glacier ice several miles thick in January. She had worked with special needs kids for blah blah…and at that point, I was lost and gone. I did not have a special needs kid. I had a developmentally delayed premature baby. Get it right lady. Out came the check list. Was Christina able to do this, this, this, this, or this? No, no, no, no, and no. What did that prove anyway?? Clearly, there really was no extensive problem here. The therapist wisely ignored me, and proceeded with the whole business as if she didn’t notice my freezing lack of enthusiasm. When Christina was somewhere around a year old, I finally floated back down to the good old reality of Earth, and was ready to admit I had a special needs kid. I got on board for the long haul of doing the same hateful exercises over, and over, and over again, in hopes that the repetition would work itself into Christina’s mind and muscles. Thankfully the therapist was a more gracious women than I, and has been kind enough to keep guiding us,
dragging me back kicking and screaming, to ride the “be patient” bus on the road to “do it again”.
It is this same excessive surplus of patience (insert sarcasm) that contributes to the problems I have with plants. First problem: I cannot keep them alive…something to do with them needing obnoxious amounts of attention (such as water once a week). Second problem: the Bible uses the objective example of fruit bearing plants and trees all throughout it to teach a follower of Christ what our life is to look like. This I find most difficult. My problem involves this: in order for a tree to grow into producing fruit, it must stay in one place, be content to stretch deep roots, and submit to a ridiculously slow process of growing. Inch by inch. Year by year. Season after season. Excuse me really?
I want a faster method than this to grow, and I certainly want one with more options. Do this task today that I just did yesterday? Tell my kids this same thing that I told them an hour ago? Read this Bible again that I read last year? Look at that same horizon, in this same set of circumstances again today? No thanks. If God wanted me to go there, to do that, to be something else, that would be easier than His request of me to stay here, to do this, to be obedient to His truth right now, and to do again tomorrow exactly what I’ve done today. I do not like to be planted, but only planted plants produce fruit.
A fruit bearing tree does not set out with a bucket list of exciting demands the Creator God must fulfill by the time it is twenty in order for it to agree to produce its first crop. No, a tree is a tree, and it fulfills its great mission in life by living like a tree. If I am a child of God, than I will fulfill my mission in life by living like a child of God. And that may mean living like a child of God in complete obscurity doing mundane things faithfully. If God is no respecter of persons, than He is no respecter of tasks either. Big is not little, and little is not big with a God who is both beginning and end, the first and the last, who has died and yet lives. Today is my calling, doing it well is my mission, and right here is the place roots reach deep, and fruit bearing limbs grow strong. Inch by inch. Year by year. Season after season. Weeds can beat a tree at growing any day. But then again, no-one goes to the apple orchard to pick dandelions do they?
Colossians 1:10-11 “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience, and longsuffering with joyfulness;”