By their fruits you will know them. –Matthew 7:16
We think we have all the time in the world, at least until we hit the age of 50. Then we begin to see that perhaps we don’t have all the time in the world. Yet still, we go about life as if there is no limit to our time here. Then someone close to us is diagnosed with a terminal illness or dies. Life goes on pause and we ponder our own destiny. You would think that would shake us up into awareness but usually we go back to that unconscious place where “it happens to everyone else but me,” until of course it happens to you. Then suddenly you realize you may not have the time you thought you had. Without good fruit, we are a walking time bomb of regret.
Now is the time to ask, what kind of fruit am I bearing?
Producing good fruit begins inside, with our attitude and choices. Do we put our trust in God? Do we take what life hands us and make the choice to remain faithful no matter what? Do we take care of ourselves with gentleness knowing that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit and that temple must be usable so God can use it, use us, for the furtherance of His kingdom?
That last question alone deserves reflection because often our pride gets in the way of our dealing with things that make our temple unusable. Denying the existence of an illness that needs treatment, avoiding a spouse because of not wanting to deal with difficult issues, hardening our hearts when facing loss whether that be of a person, place, or job are all examples.
Only God can bring forth good fruit in us but he can’t do it without our preparation. St. Teresa of Calcutta once said that she was simply a pencil in God’s hand. What she didn’t say was that she had to make sure the pencil was sharpened so God could use it.
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