Pruning The Branches

24 05 2012

I’ve got a whopper of a blown blister on my right middle finger.  Our trees and bushes have been in dire need of a haircut.  So I decided to prune them this evening.  Hence, the blister. I didn’t wear gloves. (Note to self: Wear gloves next time.)

Pruning of necessity is painful for a tree or a bush.  To have such luxuriant growth mercilessly cut away seems an act of violence.

But this is for the health of the tree.  When fruit trees are pruned, they often take on the appearance of an Armed Forces haircut.  Severely pruned trees look awful to the sight.

But that is the point of it all.  The newly pruned tree can now focus its energies and sap on bearing fruit.  Some of the shortest and most severely pruned apple trees bring forth the biggest apples.  What good are a lot of leaves if you’ve no fruit to show for all the growth?

Jesus speaks about how God prunes our lives in the fifteenth chapter of John’s gospel.  We are pruned to bear more fruit.  The pruning is painful but necessary.  An unruly and neglected tree bears little fruit.  And the same holds true for undisciplined lives.  Doing a little bit of everything but nothing really well.  Unfocused and out of proportion.  Often frustrated.

The result? Little fruit.  Lots of activity but little lasting value.

What kinds of things—activities, possessions, pursuits, even toxic relationships—can you prune from your life to hit your full potential?

The pain, you’ll discover, is well worth the yield in fruit.

Now for the pruning shears….

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