I have a small Fuji apple tree in my back yard that became confused, thrown off seasonally from the weather these past few months. The tree didn’t know whether to finish ripening the apples that were stragglers from last season or to start fresh with new growth and new buds.
The poor apple tree was thrown off by the weather. I can get thrown off too from unexpected events, from unexpected reactions to things I say or do, from unexpected illness, from unexpected interruptions… interruptions in my carefully planned day or week or life. The unexpected can throw us off in such a way we can get stuck and find it hard to awaken to the future or look for new possibilities.
As a Christian, I celebrated Easter on April 1. Even though I experience Lent, Holy Week and Easter every year, I can still get thrown off by what happened to Jesus. That he died for us and rose again is more than I can humanly understand. I also know I have to let go of the stragglers in my faith that inhibit new growth for a graced awakening. I want to embrace new buds of faith, hope and love, and experience new life and love.
As a Christian, I can also get thrown off by not appreciating that I am part of the Easter effect, the resurrection event of Jesus.
The Easter effect includes believing that the risen Jesus, the Spirit of Jesus lives through me and desires to bear much fruit, more than the stragglers on a Fuji tree from last season.
Maybe you are not involved in any religion, maybe spiritual but not religious yet this is a new season. Spring! Are you ready to embrace whatever can be new life or a new awakening or revelation in you? Are you ready to grow from the bud that you are into a new ripeness in your sense of purpose and beyond?
You have much opportunity for growth ahead of you.
And it is personal. Your life matters and has always been and is carefully loved by a creator God so you can slowly ripen and become all that you were created to be.
There is not a perfect Fuji apple and apples are not meant to “live” forever but as a Christian I believe that you continue into an eternal life. Yet, it appears that the stray Fuji apples on my tree from last spring will soon say, “Enough! Let me go on.” And that might be a lesson for us too. Sometimes we need to let go. Let go of an old habit or way of thinking that no longer serves our higher self. We have steps and shifts, seasons of change; in fact, sometimes we are forced to change because of the serious, unexpected interruptions in our carefully planned day or week or life.
While you are still planted on this Earth may you bloom, may you blossom and radiate new life as you embrace all that spring can be for you.
Let go of the stragglers of old thinking or old securities for what the newness of a spring season can be in your life. Therefore, I invite you to spend time with the following poem by Edward Hays, “Song of Awakening.”
May you engage your human adventure open to possibility, awakened to the invitation for growth.
Song of Awakening
Listen, all you seeds in the earth,
buried in your dark earthen tombs.
As this flame of my spring candle
penetrates the darkness,
may your young tender stems pierce the earth,
to dance in wind and rain
just as this flame, like a tiny sun,
now dances before me.
Father of fire, Mother of Mystery,
teach me the lesson of spring
as all creation comes alive-
tree and bush, flower and plant-
in the alleluia richness
of the resurrection of creation.
Grant me the gift, O God,
to do the same.
Teach me, O glorious Spring,
the lesson that nothing dies completely.
At the death of my body help me to know
that I have not entered an endless winter,
but simply a stage in the unfolding mystery
whose name is Life.
On this feast of the spring equinox
may I taste with delight
the freshness and vitality of new birth
and come forth from the womb of winter
youthful with hope
and fully alive
in the presence of God.