Seasonal Fruit

Travis West

READ : Psalm 1

. . . that yields its fruit in its season. (v. 3)

We live in the era of large supermarkets and complex logistics. Immediately upon entering one of these stores we are overwhelmed by the impression that every fruit and vegetable known to man is available at all times, regardless of geography or season. The produce section features “fresh” tomatoes year round. But the truth of the matter is that tomatoes only grow in warm climates with a balance of heat and rain. Their omnipresence at supermarkets is not a testimony to the earth's perpetual productivity, but to humans' uncritical use of technology to transport fresh fruit across continents and oceans.

The always-in-season culture of our modern supermarkets has shaped our expectations of what it means to be spiritually “fruitful.” Their apparent bounty can make us feel guilty for not being so spiritually productive.

The psalmist's day job was probably working as a subsistence farmer. He was intimately aware of the seasonal productivity of the earth, a knowledge that informs his poetic metaphor. The righteous “tree” does not bear fruit constantly—we are not called to be like the supermarket produce section! We are called to be seasonally productive, to allow God to use us when the timing is right. The fallow seasons are as important to the earth's productivity as harvest time. The righteous tree always produces bountiful fruit, but it does so during the season of God's timing.

PRAYER

Help me to be faithful in and out of season.