We have the biggest tree on our street. It might even be the biggest tree in our neighborhood. I'm not sure, but it's huge. It's one of the reasons we moved here.
We love the tree.
This week, I've been questioning that love.
Last Monday, I pulled into my driveway after being gone for ten days, to a lawn full of leaves. I really wanted to take a nap, but instead, my daughter and I spent the afternoon raking, bagging, and blowing off the driveway.
Our lawn was a work of art. We filled so many bags, they would barely fit in our garage. I left them there until this morning, when I set them out at the curb for pickup. That's when my love for the tree came into question. As I was setting all fifteen bags out at the curb, I noticed that my yard was full of leaves again. It was as though my Monday afternoon had been wasted. Should I have taken the nap instead?
Sometimes, it is difficult to see progress. It seems like we work and work to make the improvements in our lives that we want to see, only to be met with the realization that leaves keep falling. In my line of work, especially, it seems as though we take two steps forward and one step back on a consistent basis.
That's why I love what Paul says in Galatians 5: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
This kind of fruit takes time to grow, and it isn't always easy to see - but when it comes to fruition, it is beautiful.
Someday, the leaves will stop falling, and my lawn will be beautiful.
So keep raking, not as one who is caught up in an endless cycle of needless labor, but as one who is working toward a final goal.
Someday, it will all make sense.
Some day, the fruit will sprout.
Life is beautiful, even when it's a beautiful mess.