I’m hopeless at growing things. And as if to prove it, at
least once a year one of the children brings a straggly tomato
plant from school, and I spend a couple of months trying not to
forget to water it, or to water it too much… The latest plant to
be facing its uncertain future on my windowsill was an slightly
unorthodox ‘party treat bag’ and as I write this is just at the point of bearing the little yellow flowers which may yet even actually become
tomatoes. Exciting times. Two other things are becoming clear…
Firstly, as the plant has grown, the tiny pot it was in is not
going to cut it for much longer. That little bit of compost has
probably already had all the nutrients sucked out of it, and more
importantly, the wretched thing has become so top heavy that in the
slightest breeze the whole thing falls over. So, job one: bigger
Secondly as it has grown it has become more and more straggly,
and less able to bear its own weight. I’m pretty sure that it
couldn’t carry the weight of a single tomato, let alone a whole
crop! So, job two: put in a stake.
It strikes me that we can be a bit like tomato plants. We chase after (and give honour to) gifting and anointing (tomatoes) and are apt to neglect the less exciting foundations – reading the bible/prayer (pot) and character (stake).
All three are important. Just as a huge plant can’t manage without a sizeable pot and stake, there is no point in having a fantastic pot, but no fruit. All three have to grow together. Understanding, character and gifting, tied together with a relationship with Jesus which gives life to them all.
For your Journal:
Which is your fruitfulness more likely to be limited by – lack of character or understanding, or lack of attention to identifying and growing your gift?
How can you invest in that area more so that your own fruitfulness is not limited?
How can you invest in other people in a balanced way?