Every branch that does bear fruit, the gardener prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. John 15:2. Seems unfair, doesn’t it?
In a contemporary interpretation of the Joseph story in Sun, Stand Still, Stephen Furtick refers to the pit of into which Joseph was tossed on his journey from being a shepherd boy in Israel to being Viceroy of Egypt as being a necessary removal of the unnecessary from the hard disk of Joseph’s life to make room for an upgrade.
Yes. That is what pruning is. If the good—branches, twigs, leaves– interferes with the best, out it goes.
For the good is always the enemy of the best.
* * *
I have struggled with this all my life, being the sort of woman who is interested in everything, and wants to do everything, remaining in denial that the many was the enemy of focus.
However, more and more I am realizing my life and my time are not my own. That my call to write is synonymous with my call to follow Christ. For He calls me to write. So I must cut what stands in the way of writing.
At New Wine 2008, the wonderful Heidi Baker launched into a hypnotic, half-sung, half-chanted riff at the end of her talk, where she prayed gifts on her audience. “Has God called you to write? she asked. “Then say, I will do whatever it takes for me to become a writer.”
Can I say it even now? It makes me feel afraid, and stressed.
* * *
I had entered Mother Teresa’s convent and wanted to become a nun when I was 17. I realized it was a mistake after a year, but thought I would look foolish if I left, so dragged on, growing increasingly ill, physically.
While there, I read a book called “Our Father.” A man boards a train going in the wrong direction. He realizes it, but having told everyone that he was disembarking at the last stop, he felt embarrassed to admit that he had boarded the wrong train, and jump off. So he continues travelling in the wrong direction–getting more and more annoyed with the friends who invited him to dinner, exposing him to this hassle.
If you realise that you are going in the wrong direction, have agreed to something you shouldn’t have, are doing something that is not your call, jump off as fast as you can.
In this phase of pruning, I am jumping off more and more trains I should never have boarded, my French language lessons, gym memberships, prayer ministry, many relationships and friendships, some social events, so that I can more fully focus on the one thing God has called me to do: to write!