More on Patience from Luke 13: 1-9

Jesus tells a fig tree three years dormant.  The owner of vineyard is impatient and wants to cut it down; it isn’t delivering fruit.  The gardener intercedes, “No, wait.  Before you do, let’s give it one more year.  (Chicago Cubs fan!)  He tells the owner to let him dig around the roots and feed it; if it still doesn’t respond, then we will cut it down and burn it.  Give it time to turn, before it’s time to burn.  One interpretation is to see the fig tree as us, the owner as God, and the gardener as Jesus.  God is impatient for us to do well, and if we don’t, God is ready to throw us to the fire.  Gentle Jesus comes to rescue and pleads with his stern father to give us time to mend our ways.  God agrees and we get a one-year suspended sentence.

Let me cut down that interpretation and throw it in the fire.  Jesus points to the patience of God.  It is God’s deepest desire none should perish; all should come to salvation.  God is doing everything to get our attention and call us to a life that bears fruit and is worth living.  The role of the impatient vineyard owner is not the true God; but a false god.  We are like those in the crowd who think God’s is looking for ways to zap us.  Instead, it is because of the patience of God who is compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness that we were given the gift of time to grow and bear fruit.  The gift of time is realized as the fruit of patience grows in our spirit.

Patience will never be cultivated by mulling over things we cannot control.  To do so aggravates the cultivation of patience in our lives.  Redoubling our efforts regarding these things will be fruitless.  The better way to live is to know the stuff that happens to us is not dead to possibility.  It can be the catalyst for new growth; becoming the fertilizer that prepares us to bear fruit.  The fruit of patience allows for time, so creativity can bubble up out of hardship.  Patient persons have discovered God is there to help them turn the stuff of life into food for the future and they focus on things they can do good now, rather than on things beyond their control.

We are eternal beings; so time isn’t scarce.  Bearing the fruit of patience means we treat time as a gift from God, which we can give to ourselves and we can give away to others.  We are invited to use the gift of time more like we are at a banquet, rather than a fast-food joint.  This allows us to appreciate the journey as much as the destination; releasing us from having to achieve all our goals in a life time.  As we bear the fruit of patience in our lives by becoming like God compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness in all times; we should not be surprised if God shows up at some unexpected times in our lives.  What does the fruit of patience taste like, like time is a gift from God.

Published in: on February 6, 2011 at 12:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

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