The red of the tomato stands boldly against the green vines and the still-green flesh of the tomatoes surrounding it. My seven-year-old is lured by the red luster and motions for me to help her tug it from the vine.
I tell her we have to let it be.
"But it is ready, isn't it? It looks ripe." I nod and respond, "it is ripe, but do you see what's around it?" She looks back at the plant, and laughs how the tomato is all caged in by the vine and the four other tomatoes surrounding it.
"Don't you see?" I continue – "If we try to pull that one free, the one that is ripe? – we will break the stem, and all four of these other tomatoes would be lost. We have to let that one stay on the vine – or we will miss out on four-times the harvest." She stammers, "but…"
It is hard to let go of the good. To sacrifice what might be good in this moment for what is yet to come.
Sometimes I just want to pluck at something good. To hold onto something I should let go of. I rationalize that whatever I am doing is good, but there are greater things ahead. If I could only let go of that shiny tomato, the bounty of the Lord is waiting. But I tug hard, and the branch breaks, and the four more good things never have time to mature. I end up short-changed, and sometimes I never even know it.
I ponder all of these things as we begin our new school year.
What good things am I grasping at that need to be let go of? What good things are consuming my time and energies but keep me from experiencing the Lords bounty poured out for us? Do I have faith enough to let go of the "good" – to let it rot right there on the vine, and trust that through the waiting, an abundance will come? Abundance of joy, peace, and the knowledge of God? Abundance of wisdom, of discipline, and of love? Can I let go of what the world thinks is important to focus on that which is eternal. To reap a reward that outweighs the here-and-now?
I look back at that vine, and take a picture. I don't want to miss this lesson. I don't want to focus so much on the mechanics of writing, that the message of Christ never finds root. I don't want to spend so much time on creating art, that we miss the amazing creation He paints each day for us. I don't want to spend so much time reading "good books", that we don't soak richly in the greatest book of all.
Oh Lord, help me know when and how to leave that which is good on the vine, and to faithfully await the harvest.
To the glory of His name,
Deuteronomy 28:1-12 “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. 3 Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. 4 Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. 5 Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. 6 Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.
7 “The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways. 8 The Lord will command the blessing on you in your barns and in all that you undertake. And he will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. 9 The Lord will establish you as a people holy to himself, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in his ways. 10 And all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you. 11 And the Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your livestock and in the fruit of your ground, within the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. 12 The Lord will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands."
Linking up here today: