Mark 11:12-14, 20-26
It’s so unfair, a poor little fig tree and leafed out. Jesus tries to pick a fig to eat, but there aren’t any. It’s not even the time for figs. Jesus isn’t disappointed. He’s not sad for the misguided tree. He’s not upset he can’t have a fig when he’s so hungry. Instead, Jesus is enraged, so out of his mind angry that he curses the tree. Can you imagine the searing breeze of that curse, withering the bright green leaves into brown crisps, cracking and peeling the bark, boiling the sap and finally shriveling roots?
For forty years I’d heard that story and I never understood what Jesus had against that tree. Until I realized that my writing career had done the same thing. I hadn’t put in the necessary prep time to understand what I was doing to encourage sales when my first novels were published. I was all leafed out, eager to show everyone I was someone! I had what it takes to produce…nothing. Without a foundation, fertilized soil, tender nurturing, I was worse than the seed of another parable that fell on thin soil and barely sprouted. I had a root that made promises to readers that I couldn’t keep.
I believe it’s okay to see your dream become reality. Go ahead and publish your book, hold it in your hands, see who’ll buy it. But do your homework first. Prepare the ground, line up the gardeners who will support you. Store water and gather fertilizer, but most of all, be ready at the right season of your life to nurture others with the work you have been blessed to share. No matter who helps you put your work out for show, make sure it’s more than pleasing to the eye on the outside, but also handsome and hearty for refreshment on the inside.
Thank you, Jesus, for the work you have commissioned from me. May it be pleasing, never false, in the Kingdom. Amen.
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