A while back I started trying to grow avocados. Not because I need to grow avocados, but we were eating them on a regular basis, and I know it’s possible to sprout the pits, so I thought, “Why not?” You can read my thoughts about that adventure here.
The tree above is Alice, and she’s beautiful. She was the first seed to do more than start to sprout. The rest would either start to sprout then die or never even get started. Google told me that when she reached six inches tall I should cut her down to three inches, then plant her when she grew back to six. I was nervous about it but, being the good girl I am, I obeyed. During this time I continued to grow seeds, partly because it was fun and partly as a back up in case something went wrong and Alice didn’t make it.
As the weeks went by, Alive grew in wisdom and stature. Well, at least in stature. The only problem was, she now had a wonky stem. It was lovely and straight for a couple inches, then suddenly stopped and there was an elbow where another stem started. It was also straight, but only after its wonky elbow start. And that bugged me. A lot. I had a second seed that was showing great promise so decided to plant it as well, but this time I would skip the clipping step so my tree wouldn’t end up with a scar.
The photo below is three years later. Both trees are still alive; one is thriving. These trees are only a couple months apart in age, but you wouldn’t know it to look at them. One is strong and tall, almost ready to stand on its own without help, and the other is, well, look at it. It’s puny. Not only is it short, but the stem is skinny. Really, truly, properly skinny. If you’re tracking with me, and I’m sure you are, it will come as no surprise that Alice, the tree with the scar, is the strong one. The tall one. The one that looks like it has a fighting chance to someday bear fruit.
So who do I want to be? Alice or her little brother Andy? Sure, Andy has a lovely straight stem, but it’s also scrawny. His leaves are brown at the ends, and it seems unlikely that the poor thing will ever have what it takes to be fruitful. I choose Alice. I want to be an Alice. I want to be strong and tall, ready to bear fruit in season. Even if it means a scar or two.
Life is hard, guys. Really, really hard. The only way to come through without scars, sometimes massive scars, is to hide: to not reach out or risk or love. (Although, even that will probably give you scars…) In the end, you might end up with no scars, but you’ll also be without fruit. Nothing to show for a life lived. That’s not what I want. I want a life worthy of the One who made me; one I can lay at His feet when I meet Him face to face as an offering of love. So yeah. Bring on the scars, because they are the path to fruit.
Colossians 1:10– so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;