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  • Katie Smith

Keeping fruit fresh

There's nothing more convenient then picking up your food already packaged and purchased either from the comfort of your vehicle or delivered to your doorstep, especially when it's wet or cold outside. But, when it comes to certain foods, like produce, no comfort is worth forgoing your shopping expertise. Otherwise you will receive the ripest, mushiest, and most bruised fruits and vegetables imaginable. The worst products are reserved for pre-packaging while the best options are available for in-store shoppers.

Sure, we all have a different degrees of ripeness that we like to consume our produce because we all want to eat them on different days. How green do you like the banana? How soft do you need the avocado? These factors play a role in our purchase, but when we choose comfort and convenience, we always forfeit some of the freshness. I'll give you three other kinds of freshness worth tasting: 1. Children 2. Traveling 3. Rebirth.

When you live with children, you get to experience the world through their unique freshness too. The inside of a pepper packed with seed pods explodes with curiosity. An avocado pit looks like a bowling ball the first time you see it. Finding a worm under a rock resembles finding gold in a riverbed. Pressing buttons, throwing rocks, petting animals--not to mention Christmas, Easter, birthdays, or any other holiday. It is all fresh and exciting--there's nothing stale about it. Palatable joy runs through their little veins because the most mundane tasks transform into magic tricks full of innocence.

Traveling with your kids provides some of that same excitement. There are so many new people and new things to meet and understand. Adults don't enjoy connecting and draining the sewer hose on an RV, but give a kid the job and make him feel he has ownership over it, and he will step up to the plate (at least at first). As long as you work through the first few tired days, a new rhythm begins to take root and fresh fruit begins to grow in the most remote places. Your eyes are open to a world you never knew existed outside of your regular routine. Whether that travel is local or global, the fragrant fruit is worth packing up for it.

Fresh eyes are also given to those spiritually "born again." The dull, dark world becomes sweet and exciting like it was when we were first physically born. Our eyes and ears transform and there is a new adventure in front of us. We are no longer slaves to worldly expectations because we are no longer in charge of the future. But the unknown doesn't invoke fear anymore, instead we feel a fresh thrill. Our fruit doesn't get old like our fleshy skin, but spiritual fruit is harvested in better forms if we let the pruning occur after birth.

Sadly though, our fruit can lose its freshness if we transform into stale teenagers. Our increased knowledge about the world and what we want out of it decreases our spiritual innocence, and we forget what freshness tasted like. People will offer us tricks to keep that produce alive: re-dedicate, re-commit, re-engage. But if our fruit is dying, pruning it back is the only way to get new fruit growing.

Jesus tried to explain this fresh "rebirth" process to Nicodemus , but it was completely foreign. Nicodemus couldn't fathom how we could go back into our mother's womb in order to see God face to face. Jesus said, "Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?" (John 3:11-12).

In other words, looking at God through a physical lense, like that of a seed, helps us make sense of a spiritual concept. Some people can understand Truth because of rebirth, but others can only see it as subjective. Still, we shouldn't remain immature in our understanding of truth and faith. But our innocence should grow the longer we live by true faith.

Like the wind, Jesus says the excitement in life's stale moments exists in the unknown. Where will it blow next? Will it carry a seed with it? Will it rain too? We feel and see the wind's fresh breeze, but we do not know where it is blown next (John 3:8). The same is true with God in us. Where will he send us next? Clenching our fruit too tightly will only bruise it quicker, but opening up and letting God prune that which is stale, will keep us growing fresh fruit all year round.

Fresh and Carefully Careless...

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Feb 24, 2023

Inspiring words for sure! We always struggle between holding fruit too tight or too loosely. Amen that grace covers all the messes we create. I love that Ben made it into one of the fishing pics too!!!

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