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A Mixed Bag

Is it bad to have a mixed bag of ready and not so ready? Mature and immature? Sweet and bitter? While I wouldn’t recommend picking the yellow blueberries, when it comes to life, the mixed bag is unavoidable. The immature and bitter inhabit our world just like the mature and sweet, often hanging on the same vine of family or work or church—or even in us. We must not be so presumptuous to assume that we are fully developed. Might there be a tinge of bitterness? Could that blue tint of maturity that faces the sun blind us to a shade of red or pink in the shadows?  We must guard our hearts against bitterness when the injustices and hardships and disappointments of life invade. For only then will we grow and mature into the sweet image of our creator.

Freedom

Freedom is sweet, but if all one thinks about is how it benefits self, then the substance that will build bones and muscle to do the real work of freedom is lacking.

Freedom

Freedom: everyone knows what that is, right? Or do we? Does freedom mean simply that I have the right to do what I want to do when I want to do it? Or does freedom mean that everyone should have equal opportunity to participate in the rights that we have chosen to be the norm at a particular time and place? Does freedom come with responsibilities, or does a demand for responsibility hinder my freedom? Do we believe in freedom for us and our kin or for all? Is freedom as bright and awe inspiring as a sunburst of fireworks or just a fading illusion, leaving nothing but smoke and embers?

Focus

Perched

Not chirping

Blue not blending

With all the green, like usual.

 

Sitting

Not flitting

Focused, not a blur

Darting from shrub to tree.

 

But what are you focused on?

Bitter Waiting

Those just have to be tasty, don’t they? Don’t they? And don’t they need to be eaten before the Japanese Beetles find them? Or the deer? And what if they ripen while we’re on vacation?

The high cost of waiting can lead to bitterness in two ways. Sometimes we seek a shortcut; we refuse to wait. Shortcuts rarely satisfy and are often deceptive imitations. And sometimes waiting leaves us disappointed because life intervened—or Japanese Beetles or conflicts in schedules. And the second bitterness often adds to the temptation to take the shortcut. But that juicy red fruit that looks so sweet and inviting leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

Always a Masterpiece

A flower chain can stretch as far as the imagination can see and as far as perseverance holds out. But what if along the way, “The World’s Longest Flower Chain” becomes just a necklace or a streamer to hang on a lemonade stand that stole the limelight from the flower chain? What happens to the left over stems and petals? Instead of remaining a possible landing pad for a bee, they get tossed on the porch and forgotten—until the late afternoon sun gives them one last moment of glory.

Faded usefulness. Forgotten dreams. Tossed aside creativity. No—always a masterpiece.

Deception

Preconceived notions deceive. Grapes are grape-sized, aren’t they? Unless they are champagne grapes—then they are not. These grapes will never get as big as the ones you see in the store, and if you wait for your expectations, you will miss out on a small sweetness.

How often do we miss out on the sweetness of life waiting for what we think is ideal.