This Lent I have been reading daily reflections from a book given to us at our parish called “The Little Black Book; Six-minute Meditations on the Sunday Gospels of Lent (Cycle C)”. Anyway, last Friday and Saturday’s reflections really meant a lot to me and where I am at right now. The reflections were on Luke 13:8-9 which is part of the parable of the fig tree that had not produced fruit in three years. Verse 8 is the gardener replying to the master to leave the tree for another year and he would cultivate it and fertilize it. Verse 9 finishes it off by saying if it doesn’t bear fruit in the future, then it can be cut down.
The author goes on to make a comparison to today. When our car hits 90,000 miles we have to decide if we are going to sink more money into it or buy a new one. He says that the same is true in our lives. Our lives are being formed and shaped and we can’t go back and redo. The more we shape ourselves in one direction the harder it is to change. There are times when we reach places in our relationships, careers, and families when we feel like we aren’t bearing ‘good fruit’, we are at a dead end, or we are not where we thought we would be at this point in our life. Are we willing to keep trying, to use our freedom to shape our lives into what they are supposed to be? The truth is that God will always “sink money” into us; we are worth that to Him.
Jesus is our gardener; he is willing to keep giving us chances, to give us what we need to become who we are supposed to be. We are created by God and put here on earth for a purpose. To do our best in the circumstances of our lives to live as Jesus taught us to live. It may not seem that important to others and it may not seem like it makes a difference but there is no greater, more important accomplishment than simply doing what God put us here to do. There comes a time our life when we need to know what in our lives needs to be cultivated…and what needs to be cut out.
We are worthy of God’s love if we let ourselves be. He will always be there for us when we come back to Him. And when we do, we need to be willing to live our lives for Him.