“I am sure than when St. Paul spoke of ‘the fruit of the Spirit,’ he had in mind such processes that as we find in nature. A tree which brings forth good fruit is able to do so because over many years it has been brought under the influence of cultivation, fertilization, sunshine, rain, caressing winds, [and] cleaning from blight, and so it acquires the power to bear good fruit. A farmer cannot get his result by suddenly becoming very busy for a season and doing these things.” Shirley Carter Hughson
“He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season…”
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Most living things grow “over many years.” We like to be “very busy for a season” trying to achieve quick progress, but nature (and God) refuse to be rushed. Imagine the possible difference between your timetable and expectations for your spiritual progress, and what God is thinking. (There are good reasons why the Christian life has often been called a “journey.”)
- Fruit comes “in it’s season”, and as a result of years “under the influence of cultivation, fertilization, sunshine, rain, caressing winds, [and] cleaning from blight….” Healthy growth takes both time and work, but is definitely does take time.
- With this in mind, think about people on the journey of faith. What should be your attitude towards fellow pilgrims? What should be your attitude toward yourself? Can you relax and trust God’s timing? What would be the lessons for where you are now? that you may need to learn before you can move on?
Abba, help me to walk rather than to race, to receive rather than to grasp, and to relax rather than to strive. Help me to step into the flow of your divine life rather than living a frenzied version of my very human life. Help me focus on being with you and trust you for the timetable.
For More: The Spiritual Letters of Shirley Carter by Shirley Carter Hughson
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