Saturday, October 24, 2015

Seeds of the Spirit

Nearly 7AM and it's still dark. Indian summer come and gone. Leaves turned gold and red, then brown, and now coming down in nearly constant showers, swaying as they fall, settling in crinkly heaps where the wind gathers them, dead, in airy eddies. Autumn.

What a time to think of growing things. And yet, and yet... That's what I'm doing.

Instead of the beauty of Fall, I'm thinking of fruit. Bursting, juicy, warm from a high summer sun. Ripe and perfect. Strawberries, peaches, grapes. And flowers--spreading roses and extravagant hydrangeas. Gone now, but remembered well. They are summer, lush and dripping. Already missed.

But they have left something behind. Usually brown, sometimes red or orange, the fruit of summer has left a kernel of itself, a promise. Seeds.
They don't look like much. I know that come next year, they will burst open into flower and then, after the grace of fertilization, will produce an apple, a zinnia, a plum, but now, well, they just sit there looking dead.
For now, they're just seeds.
They need time.

In the growing dark of these days, seeds don't hold a lot of hope. Not yet. Hard and as dim as these predawn hours, they don't change, not for months.
But they are fruit. Fruit in the making.
And that's the point of fruit. It takes time. 

So it is with all kinds of fruit--even fruits of the Spirit.
Fruit is not a gift, something that once unwrapped, is instantly available, full and bursting, ready to eat. Fruit takes preparation, nurturing, time. We have to wait for it, watch it develop day after impatient day,
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.--Galatians 5:23

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Fruit, not gifts.
Pray for them, but don't expect them to come in an instant.
When they come, they come as a seed, a promise, something to be developed slowly over time.
At their start, we get seeds of the Spirit. 
In time, with God's favor and patient grace, we eventually have fruit.