Be Fruitful - Part Two

Eleanor Deckert

Have you ever been given fresh fruit?

Maybe you forgot your lunch and a classmate shared their grapes. Maybe you ran a race and they handed out orange slices. Maybe a neighbour shares berries or currants or the excess from their plum or apple tree, or someone brought home extra cases of fruit from the Okanagan.

A fruit basket is fun to prepare or to receive.

Once every year, fruit is ready to harvest. Abundant. Fragrant. Nutritious. Delicious.

And then we save it: canned, dried, jam, pickled, juice, frozen, in the root cellar. Near the huge orchards are huge climate controlled warehouses storing huge crates of pippins so we can enjoy crunchy apples all year. Ships bring luxuries from the tropics.

Miraculous, really! How can dirt and sunshine, rain and air transform into such a variety of colours and shapes and flavours and nutrients?

There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.
- Albert Einstein

Although I appreciate and wonder at the piece of fruit I hold in my hand, and give thanks to the Maker before I take that first bite, I am also aware of the work that has gone into this moment. The farmer, harvester, the science of storage, the transporters, store employees, the drive home. All this for under a dollar!

While considering the topic over Thanksgiving weekend, I decided to look up that well-known Scripture listing the “Fruit of the Spirit.”

“The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Galatians 5:22

“Fruit of the spirit”... what does that mean? Invisible. Intangible. Yet real and powerful. It’s the motivation inside my actions, the message inside my words, the intention inside my hands.

Do I have these qualities within me fully formed? Or have I been given seeds which I can nurture or ignore?

What or Who is the Source of these qualities? Is there a Guide to help me? A Resource Manual or Best Practices Document I can follow?

Like the farmer, do I “work” to make these qualities come to fruition inside myself?

If so, what can I do to prepare, remove weeds and rocks, plant, water, till and harvest this fruit?

Like the owner of an empty field, I can decide what to encourage, what to discard.

Love or dominance? Joy or complaining? Peace or disruption? Patience or frustration? Kindness or apathy? Goodness or cruelty? Faithfulness or Me First? Gentleness? Self-control or blurting whatever pops out of my mouth?

There are no boxes to hold these fruits.

Have you ever given out this fruit? Shared with someone who has run low? Can you make a decision to offer this fruit to another person before speaking or taking action? Can you deliberately cultivate and produce a harvest, enough to share? Can this fruit be stored, or is it produced anew each day?

By myself, I cannot keep this up. Grumpy. Muttering complaints. Self-interested. My fruit can be full of worms, withered, rotting. Even if I “work” at it and set personal goals and pressure myself to do well... I slump down again.

Yet, the Spirit is abundantly available. If I can be an empty vessel, and allow the Source to guide, govern and flow through me, I can sustain thoughts, words and deeds motivated by these sweet fruits. Not of my own effort. But as a miracle.

Have you ever been given Fresh Fruit?