Thursday, April 6, 2017

Words From a Peach Farmer

When I was still figuring out what it meant to be ordained, I went to the Talbotton Church as a pastor.  I was five years out of seminary and figured I knew more than I did.  It was during those years that I met an old guy who had spent a lifetime growing peaches.  I visited him one day out in his orchard.  He was in his mid 70's and planting a orchard of young peach trees which he told me would take about seven years to come into full production.  He must have seen what I was thinking as he then said to me, "I may not eat any of these peaches, but I want my grandchildren to know after I am gone that I was pointed in the right direction."
I have never forgotten his words about living life pointed in the right direction.  Perhaps, it can rightly be said that Lent is about helping us with the work of keeping, or getting, our lives pointed in the right direction.  All these spiritual disciplines to which we are called through The Invitation to Observe a Holy Lent are the kind of things which help us with the work of staying pointed in the right direction.  We may not be where we might want to be with any of these disciplines, but not being involved with them because it is a struggle is a bigger failure than not living up to our expectations. 
Many years later I made the decision to start rising at 5 am for  prayer and the Word.  It was not always as successful as I wanted it to be.  Some mornings I fell asleep.  But, when it happened, I learned to step back into my praying by praying, "Lord, I have fallen asleep again, but I am here because I want to be obedient to what I believe You have called me to be about..."  I was falling short, but I was pointed in the right direction.

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