On my way to the mailbox everyday for the past few months, I’ve seen a pear tree and a grape vine in my neighbor’s yard. Both the tree and the vine were full of beautiful, ripe fruit ready to be picked. The days when the sun offered a nice autumn warmth, I could literally smell the grapes as the gentle breeze wafted the scent to my nose.
Each day, I expected to see that the tree had been picked. But each day as I walked by, the bushels of fruit would continue to hang there in almost a taunting fashion. Why weren’t these people picking that fruit? I’d ask myself.
What a waste?! I’d mumble as I passed. At one point, I was so upset over the fact that the fruit hadn’t been picked that I had debated going to the neighbors and asking them if I could pick the fruit. I figured they might think I was nuts for making such a request, so I decided against it.
As the days passed, the pears began dropping to the ground. One after another, sitting there rotting away. The grapes were being stolen by the occasional squirrel, but eventually our first heavy frost destroyed them as well.
We can be like that pear tree and grape vine. We’ve been given all these amazing gifts, talents, skills, and tools (fruit) but for some reason we just let them be. They just hang there unused when they could be bringing people pleasure and enjoyment.
Why do we do this? Well, some people feel disqualified. They look at their life, the things they’ve done in the past, and they decide they aren’t good enough. That somehow they’ve got to get their crap together before they can actually do something. Sometimes its fear that creeps in and debilitates us. Or insecurities screaming “You can’t possibly do that.”
And then there’s the excuses, which can include: I’m shy. I lack resources. I’m tired. I don’t have the time. I’ve got kids. I’m old. I’m broke. I’m too young. So-and-so can do it better than me. I’m feeling gassy today. My bangs are going through that awkward grow-out-phase. I didn’t go to college.
I’ve just got to ask you: Why NOT you? Why NOT now? All the fears, insecurities and excuses don’t measure up to the God that lives inside of you. The God that lavished you with the unique gifts and skills that you have. And even if I wanted to, I can’t come pick your fruit, you’ve got to do that for yourself. He gave them to YOU.
Please, don’t let your fruit get wasted. Share them with the world, or even just the person you meet at the grocery store. Either way, USE THEM.