Monday, July 03, 2006

Seasonal fruit

Blessed is the man that does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
Nor stand in the way of sinners
Nor sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord
And in his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water
Which yields its fruit in season
And whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.

That's the first 3 verses of Psalm 1, probably in some mixture of versions. As many others have pointed out, there is a condition here and a promise too. Today I'll look at the promise.

What does it mean to be like the tree described here?
  • Planted by streams of water
    I take this to mean that nourishment is always available. Spiritual nourishment maybe? If I meditate upon the law (I'd expand that today to include the entire Bible) that's providing food for my spirit
  • Yields its fruit ...
    Fruitful, in other words, not fruitless. My life will mean something; it will have some weight, some results
  • season
    A real tree spends one season in fruit production; the other three are spent in recovery and (mostly invisible) preparation. And there are seasons in my life, usually lasting longer than a few months. Not all of them have evident fruit.
  • And whose leaf does not wither
    In other words, arranging my life so I get nourishment from the Bible regularly -- reading, hearing sermons, listening in prayer -- then I won't run out of spiritual food. This doesn't mean I'll never become depressed or encounter long apparent dry spells, though.
This psalm has been a great comfort to me over the years, I think because I don't have to feel responsible for my spiritual growth -- just for my feeding. God does the rest.

(posted 7/4)

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