Community in Action August 31, 2020

Well, it has been a long time coming. I tried a year ago to start an avocado plant from the seed. The root developed just fine. The stem seemed to start okay but then it seemed to develop some kind of mold. I waited a few more weeks and it never grew beyond an eighth of an inch. I decided this attempt was a fail and chucked it, actually I put it in the compost bin, always trying to do what I can to lower the amount of garbage sent to the dump.

    So this year I started again, about May, putting the seed in the water with toothpicks on the edge of the jar to keep the pointed part of the seed out of the water. Again the root began to grow fairly quickly. It grew about six inches long and then I waited a couple of weeks looking forward to watching the stem begin to grow.

    After those weeks the stem started to show a little bit, but it just wasn’t taking off. I decided I would wait this one out. So finally after about a month the stem started to lengthen. The eighth of an inch grew to a half inch. The next week the stem was a couple of inches long. Then about two weeks ago the stem grew to about six inches long and there were tiny leaves forming at the tip of it. I potted the seed with the stem in an eight inch pot. I took it outside and placed in the shade with a bit of sun in the morning shining on it.

    Today the stem is a good eight inches long there are two sets of leaves, about a half an inch apart, with a total of four leaves in all.  I moved it to another part of the back yard with a little more sun, but still plenty of shade not wanting the leaves to burn. I give it about a quarter cup of water every other day, making sure the soil gets to dry out before I add more water.

    I don’t know if it will ever produce fruit, but it is so satisfying to see a plant grow from seed, even if it takes three months to mature enough to look like a plant.

    Faith is like this for me. It seems like I make no progress in my understanding of who God is and what this life is all about. I don’t show growth in the fruits of the spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23). I don’t seem to keep my mouth shut often enough to listen to others fully or I don’t speak up enough when others need a voice. It is frustrating to see so little progress in my faith, if any at all.

    Yet if I look back a decade or even just a few years I can see I have made changes. I have learned to quiet my voice more often, I have learned to listen more closely, I have become more patient in some areas (perhaps not when waiting for an avocado seed to grow), and I have learned to look more for God’s handiwork in my life, the life of others, and the world around me.

    So I just want to say don’t despair if it seems maturity in our faith is not progressing as quickly as you would like. Remember that the Christian faith is a marathon and not a sprint. God is the one helping us to grow and God does not hold back from challenging us in our faith nor does he abandon us.

    As Paul reminds us in Philippians chapter three we need to press on. We need to continue the race, we need to walk the path, God will see us through, just keep the faith, trust him, and celebrate with your faith community his faithfulness.

    Hoping some day to share with you the fruit of my labor,

    Pastor Randy

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