I have been pondering this reading all week, it is funny the things you remember from the text.. The key theme for me has been the exploration of the seed falling to the ground and dying so that new life can be created from it.. I was reminded of my lemon tree at home, overhung with fruit, with much of it landing on the ground and no use to anything but the worms.. rotting and dying, mouldy.. But that rot and death is actually what feeds the seeds for new life to grow, or feeds the tree that drops the fruit. Ideally I would love to have used every lemon. I made gelato, lemon cordial, lemon butter and jams. But they just kept coming! Many of them hand not grown properly due to the heat and dry spell we had over the summer. As more and more fruit came, more was left on the ground to feed the life around it.
What I think is useful and the “best” things for my lemon and the vision of God’s creativity are two different thing.. Those rotting fruit did feed the ants, butterflies, caterpillars and worms. They put nutrients back into the soil and added to the eco system. My useless was actual very useful to the world beyond me.. But even more those fruits, when left to rot on the ground provide the opportunity for new life to grow, a new tree that can produce hundreds of more fruit.
Again we find ourselves in the season of Lent so how does this relate to how we think about our own life? I was wondering about the things we need to let go of.. The things we have a certain plan for and expectation around what would be useful, or tasty or right or correct. How often do we keep trying to make the most of these even when we have reached a point where we have exhausted that vision, those lemon cordial bottles, the jam jars. How do we know when we have reached a point where we have to just let it go? Leave things to sit, maybe even to rot a little to see what is the next way that God uses that beautiful fruit. Is this going to feed a butterfly? Is this going to help a whole ants nest? or maybe even still left longer, does this piece of rotting fruit sprout into a new life a new plant?
How ever it happens, there are somethings we just have to let go of. They were never ours to hold.. Like Jesus says this can be scary.. it can be hard and it can be heart breaking there is grief in letting go.. There is grief in not being able to use every piece of fruit. But it is not my fruit, it is a blessing from God of which I was given, it may have come from my branches, it might have sprouted under my effort and care, but I cannot make a fruit come to fruition. I am merely part of the journey..
Jesus uses the wheat as an example, it gets one shot, has only one head of wheat. Each seed has the chance to grow another, will it feed the birds? Will it make a loaf of bread or a cake? None of that can happen if we do not let it go to die.
I wonder what it is that I am holding onto tightly that I might need to let go? Why won’t I let it go? Do I not trust what God is going to do with it? Do I think that if it doesn’t look the way I think it should it is not as good..
When Jesus talks about the seeds it is actually about our whole lives. Do we try to control our lives and have a way that we think it is going to turn out? Do we have it sorted? or are we willing to let it go, follow the leading of God in the general direction we are heading and let God sort it?
There are so many areas I can think of where I think other people need to let it go and let it die.. The harder challenge is to sit honestly with my own life. Yet my experience of the journey with God is that God has it sorted, probably not the lemon cordial I was thinking of, but boy those ants are grateful!