In this upcoming Sunday's Gospel, Jesus told this parable: "There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, and when he came in search of fruit on it but found non, he said to the gardener, 'For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none. So cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil?' He said to him in reply, 'Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down.'"
This Lent I am part of a Facebook Lent retreat, which is really cool because it encourages me to read the upcoming Sunday Gospel all week long! This parable really resonated with me because it reminded me of my own story. In this parable the gardener knows how important it is to fertilize and cultivate the area around the tree. The same goes for us, the space we create in and around us is important for our spiritual growth.
I really understand this message. For a long period of my life, and even occasionally now, I fed lies to myself. You know, the typical insecurities types of things like "You're really not that pretty" or "No one would ever really love you because (insert character flaw here)." I'm sure we've all been there. That is NOT cultivating the space around me. Those lies will NOT help me produce "fruit" and make the world a better place. Then, when I got to college I grew in my faith as I began to know God better and to know his character better. I began to love myself because God created me. As I really began to better understand Jesus' undeniable, unfailing, and complete love for me, I began telling myself truths. As awkward as it might be, I started to look in the mirror and smile because God made me beautiful because he made me me! Most people wouldn't notice much of a change because I was always a happy person but I definitely noticed the incredible, deep, internal happiness I found as a result of these truths and recognizing my true worth, not the lies. And with that happiness, the world was a much different place for me. That's cultivating the space around me. Love and acceptance help me produce fruit. Why would I want negativity and doubts when I could have positivity and confidence? Love is powerful and wonderful and that is what I need because they make me want to give back with everything I have! And that is producing fruit =)
Until next time,