Every day I love looking out my back door to my corner rose garden. I planted it two years ago and enjoy watching the changes that occur daily in the spring . I noticed my double pink rose was the first to bloom, but kept waiting for the pale pink and striped dark pink roses to bloom. I kept thinking to myself, "If only they would all bloom at the same time! Then it would be gorgeous!" Each day I would check to see if the numerous buds had bloomed yet, but I was disappointed. It was still a lovely view, but I was hoping for more.
This morning, I decided to take a walk around the fence into the lower backyard and see if the roses that get the morning sunshine might be in bloom. To my delight, this is what I found! The pale pink blossoms cascading down the trellis and even out the fence filled me with such joy! To my right, I happily noted that some of the dark striped blooms had emerged as well. Though this view is slightly interrupted by the chain link fence, I could thoroughly enjoy the beautiful combination of all three rose shades! To me it was splendid!
I then decided to walk a few more steps and take in my rose trellis from the third side. Again I was not disappointed. Once more I could enjoy all three rose varieties happily growing on my trellis with my gliding seat situated in the middle. I noted that this is the view my neighbor gets to enjoy of the garden and thought about the idea that we can both look at the same garden, and see different things. All three views are lovely, but each one gives the observer just a slightly unique view of what it entails. To truly enjoy it's majesty, we must view the garden from multiple angles.
I will keep my daily vigil to look for all three rose colors to appear from the front view. The striped rose is laden with blooms that will eventually break out if I am patient. But in the meantime, my little rose garden has taught me to walk around and see things from a different perspective. When we tackle a problem, it helps to explore it from many angles, looking for the source of light to guide us. Wayne Dyer said, "If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." You might just see something that had been hidden from your view!
While reading John 15 this week, I thought about pruning and bearing fruit and how they related to my grape arbor. In verse 2 it says, "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away." This made perfect sense to me. If a branch is not producing fruit or serving some other purpose for the vine, then it can be removed. You'll notice in the picture below 2 branches that I trimmed in the winter while the plant was dormant that are not producing leaves or fruit. When I pruned it, I could not tell that it was dead, but now it will need to be pruned away.
But then the verse continues, " and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth, that it may bring forth more fruit." Now wait a second. If the branch is producing fruit, why does it need to be purged? Well, here's an interesting thing about grapes. As I understand it, they produce fruit on a branch only once, and that branch is the new year's growth. Furthermore, the new branches form on last year's canes or branches. Thus, when a branch bears fruit one year, the cultivator must trim that branch, being particularly aware of how many buds are left on that cane where the new shoots will grow. This careful pruning, allows the vine to produce the best fruit. If the vine is not pruned, then there are shoots everywhere and perhaps even a lot of grapes, but the plant cannot fully sustain all of the fruit and many times the fruit is small and underdeveloped.
As I look at priorities in my life, this lesson is particularly poignant. If I try to do too many things at once, I may indeed produce fruit, but it is not the same caliber as if i focus my priorities on things that matter most. Sometimes, I may be able to prune my own plant, but often I find the Lord of the Vineyard has to help me. Sometimes, He even prunes me when I wasn't expecting it! Though this kind of pruning hurts most, in the end, it helps me to grow stronger and produce better fruit.
I learned another important lesson last year, when I was in the middle of my Master's Degree exams and final semester. That year, my structure holding up the netting to protect my grapes from the invading birds broke from the weight of the snow. I did not have time to fix it or prune my grapes. Thus, the vines grew up and through the bird netting that had collapsed on the roof. This year I tried to remove the netting, but found I had to cut much of it away to not damage the vines, and will need to eventually replace it before the fruit ripens. I have not been a good caretaker of my vineyard and am suffering the consequences of my neglect. It's a good thing that the true Lord of the Vineyard would never neglect us in this manner! He is always aware of our situation and wants us to grow in the best way possible. I truly believe that if we follow Him, we will be able to produce the most wonderful fruit. John 15:5, "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bring forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing."
Laurent and Kerrie Neu love sharing music with others. It's such a blessing to be able to interact with people through music.