Archive for the ‘Star Wars’ Category

….I was eating an orange; and it got me to thinking (sorry to spoil the fun).

To be specific, it was Weatherford, Texas, and it was the later half of 1995.     Sherry and I only had one child at that time in our lives.    We felt called to be very involved in our small, aging inner city church, and for some reason I felt it was “my duty” to encourage others to be more involved in the stuff that we were doing. So as I sat in our house out in the sticks one afternoon, eating that orange, the children’s song about the fruit of the Spirit began to emanate from little Hannah’s bedroom:

“the fruit of the Spirit’s not an apple,
The fruit of the Spirit’s not an apple.
So, if you’ve got an apple
You might as well eat it,
Cause that’s not the fruit of the Spirit.

The Spirit is…..”

You can likely cite the rest, and it got me to thinking (sorry to spoil the fun).

I looked down at my orange, and more specifically the seeds I had been pulling out as I ate it, and the analogy was clear: not only is fruit refreshing and nourishing, but it plants a seed. I shared that analogy shortly thereafter, while peeling an orange during a Wednesday evening devotional talk (“sermonette”, complete with the scripted/ seemingly required “invitation song”) in that small church. I thought I had a lot of things figured out. I probably still tend to think that today, from time to time, but life, mother earth, and father time are kind enough to frequently remind me of the fallacy in that kind of thinking.

Fast forward to 2011. As I recalled this moment in history the other day, I began to wonder: “what kind of fruit (if any?) do I produce in life: fruit, or fruitcake?

Have you ever been the recipient of a fruitcake? Part bread, part chemically treated dried fruit and nuts, and hard as a brick, such delicacies used to be the standard/favored “Christmas gift by mail” sent by financial institutions to offices like the ones I have worked in over the years. It was their own little way of saying “thank you”. Some thanks; it was more like an assasination attempt on your taste buds and your teeth, if not your life itself. Why did people ever send those? How did people ever enjoy those? Oh well, it was another era; another time and place. But why did I used to do some of the things I used to do?

You don’t see fruitcakes much anymore. Today, banks and others send their customers “Harry and David ” gift baskets. Much more practical, much more attractive, and much tastier, these gifts are often much enjoyed and appreciated. And yet, in almost every gift basket, there is some type of food strangely resembling a small baked item that no one ever wants to bite into.

“They” say in some small way everyone wants to be a star. So as we each play out our roles in the “Star Wars” of life, what kind of fruit are we bearing? What kind of fruit am I bearing? Is it nourishing? Is it refreshing? Is it pleasant to view? Does it plant a seed? Or am I simply churning out rock hard fruitcakes? The old saying “it’s the thought that counts” does not really ring true in the spiritual sense, now does it?

Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:16-20: By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

Time to get and keep my pruning shears out. I want to bear good fruit. In the meantime, try the apple: it’s delicious:


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