“I know it hurts, but you gotta do it.”
I could relate to what the man on the Youtube video said. His video taught how to nurture a peach tree to get the biggest and sweetest fruit. This time of the year my peach tree is filled with hundreds of dime-sized peaches, but the secret to a successful harvest means knocking off nearly half.
It hurts to rip healthy, growing peaches off a tree, but if I don’t then I won’t have much edible fruit later in the summer. If the nutrients gathered by the roots are spread too thin across too much fruit, then each peach will end up small and will lack the necessary amount of sugar for that delicious, sweet taste. Not only that, but the sheer weight of so many peaches would break many of the branches.
So, I have to thin the fruit. It seems counter-intuitive. Looking at the ground covered in small peaches seems wrong. But, it’s the only way to ensure good fruit.
Thinking of this sad reality brought Hebrews 12:1-2 to mind:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith…
Like the peach tree with too many peaches, so we can have unnecessary weight that keeps us from running our race with endurance. Sometimes that weight is sin but not always. It could be things that are not necessarily sinful, but take an unhealthy amount of our time or effort that need to be cut out to make more room for spiritual growth and service.
Doing so seems counter-intuitive in our culture that over-emphasizes productivity. We often measure worth by how much we are completing, we place identity in what we achieve. But perhaps we’d produce a healthier fruit that won’t overbear the branches if we were willing to thin some of the peaches.
In order to do this, we must have a healthy view of our identity in Christ. We must be convinced deep in our soul that our worth before God is not in how much we achieve, but simply because we are his children. He accepts us in his sight because of the blood of Christ, not by how many things we are involved in.
Remember, Christian, you are not God and your limitations should lead you to depend on him. Evaluate your life and how you spend your time and energy; cut out anything that doesn’t lead you to worship God or serve others. Be willing to say ‘no’ to new tasks that may spread you too thin or weigh you down. It may be hard to do at first, but hopefully it’ll lead to better, sweeter fruit later on.