I am a bookworm. I read everything in front of me. Including all the bumper stickers and branded taglines that pass me and my family on one of our many pandemic car rides.
On one such evening, a popular supermarket’s truck came into view with its tagline reading, “Fresh produce delivered daily.” That’s a nice promise, I thought to myself, to walk into my grocery store and know that fresh fruits and vegetables will always be available (for a moment, let’s forget the debate on supermarkets vs. farmers markets).
Rows of apples, grapes, leafy greens, and our favorite starches. Most of it in full supply, with the scent of fresh citrus and berries calling for a spot in your shopping cart. Fresh produce grown and picked for you. Thank You, Lord!
Let’s flip the script: what if our lives were the commercial truck? Could we bear the same tagline, promising fresh produce abounding within our vehicle, ready to be delivered for consumption with the commitment to bring more tomorrow?
Could we guarantee to fully stock and line the produce aisle with the Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22)?
Does the aroma of our lives hint of a lifestyle that is daily cultivated by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?
Or does a supermarket’s truck bear more promise than what we’ve shown our families, friends, colleagues, and neighbors?
For many of us, the pandemic has been testing our character. We ride the waves of feeling fine and weary, confident and exhausted, hopeful and broken. My life does, being one prime example of the hashtag #WFHWK (work from home with kids).
With longer work hours and an 18-month old trying to jump off the kitchen counter, I’ve found myself on autopilot during the day and zombie mode by evening. I’ll be the first to admit: no fruits abounding here.
On the same evening I read that line on the truck, I found my daughter reciting her memory verse in her room: “By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another” from John 13:35. And I felt the conviction in my spirit.
Autopilot and zombie mode are not fruit-wielding, nor do they allow for being mentally present. How will my own family know that I am His disciple if I don’t have time to love on them, to be present with them? How can I share fresh fruit if I’m not allowing myself to be discipled?
This is not to shame anyone for working long hours or having a full plate pre- or post-COVID. I am, however, inviting us to reflect on how we are cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit in the midst of that because whether or not you bear fruit speaks volumes:
- Are we making time for the Creator in the fields of our lives?
- Are we daily digging into the Word? To pick through the gold-lined pages to allow His wisdom to be planted within our hearts, so that the fruits of our joint labor with the Lord are being freshly delivered to our loved ones everyday?
In this season of breakthrough, we have a real opportunity to reflect on what our lives have been saying about us and what we believe. We can course-correct. Perhaps we need to find a new routine, develop new habits, find a spiritual mentor, and/or plug into a new small group. Whatever it is, do it in love so that they may know you are His disciple.