Sitting here on a beautiful summer day under the sprawling grape vine, I am amazed how quickly and vigorously it has grown since we arrived at the new B&B in April. First, it was just tiny little green threads and tendrils immerging through the weathered old wood of the aged trunks. Then as if almost like magic, leaves emerged followed by tiny “baby grapes.” Then the vines stretched and reached out to wrap around anything and everything within its reach, even itself.
Now I sit here and ponder, “what kind of grapes these are?” Wine grapes? Concord grapes like my grandmother had on her arbor next to the shed? We discuss what we will do with them depending on which variety emerges. It would be fun to celebrate the “first wine” tradition that we enjoyed in Germany last September on our travels. Fresh pressed wine carried home in open buckets and served cold with a slice of zwiebelkuchen (onion cake). Or maybe we can press them into sweet crisp clear grape juice to be added with sparkling mineral water and shared with all our new friends that we have made here at the B&B since we opened just a few weeks ago. But we will just have to be patient and wait. Wait until the grapes begin to turn color and ripen. Wait to discover what delectable drink will eventually materialize from months of growing and ripening. Wait…
It makes me think of myself. My life. My growth. A vine that is not growing is dying. There is – or should be – no stagnancy in our life. It should always be reaching, stretching, evolving, growing, nurturing fruit, sending out new vines – new shoots – new life. So often, however, we grow complacent in our contentment of being “the same.” We find a corner that is comfortable and are perfectly OK with just existing.
God wants so much more for our life. He prunes us back during the winter times of our life so that we can emerge fresh, new and alive in the spring times. He allows the rain to fall and give us the “water of life.” He kisses our leaves with the warmth of the Son so that we can continue to grow. And the result?
Fruit! Beautiful little baby grapes that start small and green and then grow…and grow…and grow. Then comes the harvest! What will we make with the fruit that grows within us? Will it be sour or sweet? Will we overflow with the rich taste of pure sweet wine or will be tarnish the harvest with negativity and doubt that turns the wine into vinegar? The choice is ours to do something excited with the harvest…or just let it die.
For me, I choose life. I choose to embrace all that I have been blessed with…the good times and the bad. I choose to harvest my fruit and do something totally amazing with it.