Friday, December 10, 2010

That Poor Fig Tree

You're going to be so disappointed in me. I'm actually getting into a routine. As soon as my son goes down for his afternoon nap, I read my Bible (I'm using The Daily Message) and then I blog. The one I'm writing right now you'll get tomorrow morning. And then I watch TV or play video games for the duration of his nap. But at least I'm reading my Bible first!

It's like I'm disciplined or something. Blecch.

One thing I like about The Daily Message is that it skips around a little bit. The first chunk was out of Genesis, and now I'm reading in Mark. Keeps a person from getting burned out on the heaviness of the OT. Smart!

So I just read the part in Mark where Jesus walks by a figless fig tree, gets irritated with it for not having figs (even though they were out of season!), and curses that poor tree. It withers! It'll never have fruit again ever!

I'm not sure I understand this story.

Did Jesus wake up on the wrong side of the cot? Did his feet hurt from all that walking? Does he get grumpy when he's hungry? My husband does. It's miserable.

But I digress.

I find all of these explanations unlikely. Maybe he knew it would pay off in a future discussion. When he walked by later with the disciples and the tree was dead, they were all surprised. Jesus told them that they can do even more than that—even move mountains—through fervent, powerful prayer.

I believe that.

But the other thing that springs to my mind is that the tree wasn't bearing fruit, so Jesus said, "Forget it. You're not living up to your potential. I'm disappointed. If you're not going to bear fruit now, forget ever bearing fruit. I'm going to take that away from you."


Am I bearing fruit? Because if I'm not, it takes no more than a nod from God to prevent me from ever bearing fruit. Am I being productive? Are the Fruits of the Spirit evident in my life? Let's see...

Love:  Hmm. You think this would be the easy one. It's not. There are people I'm still learning to love. It's slow going on that front right now. That's probably a no.

Joy:  It comes and goes. I've been in a funk lately, so that's certainly not me being joyful. No.

Peace:  Again, it comes and goes. I have to do a whole lot of praying to achieve a little bit of peace, it seems. I assume that if I truly have peace, I don't have to pray so hard for it. *sigh* No again.

Patience:  I'm getting better and better at this. Having a toddler is finally a plus! Woohoo! I got one!

Kindness:  Being compassionate is one of my top spiritual gifts, and I use it like crazy. Much to the chagrin of my wallet sometimes. I got two!

Goodness:  What does this one even mean? Is this similar to kindness? That's a maybe. Man! I thought I was on a roll.

Faithfulness:  I'm committed to God. I even blog about him. Like he needs my little blog to get the word out, but I hope he thinks it's interesting. I'm going to count this one. But, wait—do I actually tell enough people about him? I mean, really share the Gospel? Debatable. How committed could I be if I'm not doing that? Never mind. This one's a maybe. At best.

Gentleness:  Yeah, this one is a struggle. I can be a little brash at times. No, you don't need to provide examples. Another no.

Self-Control:  I'm working on it! Didn't I just tell you I was getting into a routine and reading my Bible every day? That totally counts! I'm nearly disciplined! I rescind my earlier, "Blecch!"

Nine fruits and I've got four in the "no" pile, three in the "yes" pile, and two in the "maybe" pile. And I don't think the "maybe" pile errs on the side of "yes," honestly. That's not a majority leaning toward "yes," then.

I think I'm that stupid fig tree.

So now what? What do I do about this? What will I do about this? Do I just pray about those things and hope God will give them to me? Or will he give me opportunities to show them? Ugh. It seems like that's what he does anytime I ask for patience. He presents something that tries my patience.

I don't want to wither. I'd better get on the stick.

Are you the fig tree, too?


  1. I like the way you write. Amusing, but smacking people with some Truth as well.

    Nice work.

    I mentioned that fig tree in a post of mine recently too, which is what caught my eye on yours.

    Keep it rolling.

  2. Stumbled upon your blog, and love your writing! I wanted to mention what I've learned about "goodness." I never really understood what it meant until I was at a Bible study where we discussed the Fruit of the Spirit. Our study suggested that goodness, whether than being another word for kindness, has a different definition. Goodness is to want what God wants, to be in His will, or to want to please Him. I'm not sure if that's what God meant necessarily, but I liked the idea a lot. :) Hope this helps a bit!

  3. Thanks, Chloe! That makes a lot of sense. And it gives me another YES! Woohoo!

  4. I just wanted to say I love your writing, too. :) And truth be told, there are so many times when I've typed out a comment and then think it sounds stupid (you're a little intimidating. ;) so I erase it! But I read every post and love your blog. :)

    Oh yeah, this is a great post, btw. (see? that was stupid.) ;)

  5. Jeepers, Catie! Intimidating is the last thing I feel I am. I post, like, every day about how much I suck. How is that intimidating? lol Silly.


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