“A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit.”
This is it.
A new year. A new chance to grow something of value from the blessings we’ve been given.
A whole year will unfold, giving and taking, delighting and distressing, one morning dawning and another fading.
And it’s all about the fruit.
Jesus said millennia ago that we are very like fruit trees.
There’s just so much to unpack in that gem of an idea.
Take apples, for instance.
You don’t grow an apple overnight. It takes several years from the time a young sapling is planted until you get to taste the fruit of your labours. And that young ‘un has needs.
The need for regular water in dry spells. The need for protection against hungry deer who love to nibble the buds off, and rabbits who love to sneak a meal of tender bark. The need for nutrients and quick action in the presence of potential diseases.
Planting an apple tree is a long term investment
The first year, a handful of tiny spring blossoms. The second, more – and perhaps one or two mini fruits that don’t last the summer. They fall, immature, not getting what they needed to plump up.
But all the while, the wee tree is getting the hang of things – learning how to seek moisture with new roots. Figuring out how to bloom. Gaining branch strength to hold a future crop.
And then, it happens.
Apples! Juicy. Sweet. Vitamin-packed, mineral-rich, tasty apples.
So what will you do with the year placed before you?
What steps will you take to ensure a good crop in the fall?
But that’s months away, you argue.
Perhaps even years away. But that harvest starts now.
What will you do today, tomorrow, the day after that, that will ensure a good harvest to come?
A life well lived, you see, is all about the fruit. It’s about the heart, and what grows out of what we plant there.
I want to be a good tree, producing what is beautiful, tasty, and healthy for myself and those around me.
Invest in a new year’s fruit production with me?
Father, You want to grow amazing and nutritious fruit in us this year. Bless us as we take steps this week to participate in that process with You. Amen.