When my husband and I moved to Bickley 4 and half years we began learning how to grow fruit! Well, put more accurately, I guess we began learning how to encourage fruit to grow!
We started reading books and we keep a notebook reminding us what to do month by month as far as fertilising and pruning and so on.
We even had a horticulturist come out and walk around the fruit trees with us – showing us how to prune and reminding us to thin the fruit when it first starts to appear.
The very first year that the hard, green baby peaches appeared on the peach tree in bucket loads we were very excited!
“We must thin the fruit” my husband and I said to each other.
We knew from what we had read and what the horticulturalist told us that there was too much fruit and not enough physical space on the tree or nutrients in the soil for all the peaches to grow properly.
But no matter how often we set out to thin the fruit when we came face to face with the all those peaches our resolve failed us!
“They’ll be fine”, we said to each other.
And in time the tree was covered, absolutely covered in what I feel confident were the world's smallest ripe peaches – peaches the size of cherry plums or particular large grapes!
“Why are they so small?” a friend asked
Well that would be because we skipped the bit where you thin the fruit early on to allow the remaining fruit to develop to its very best!
We ended up with a lot of ‘peaches’ but they were not at all what peaches should be!
I notice a similar pattern in my life. As a follower of Jesus, I thrive, I become more like who I am meant to be, when I stay closely connected to Jesus and let him thin out things that get in the way of good growth – things like insecurity and pride and plenty more besides that!
What about you? Is there anything that needs to go so that you will develop to your best? What one thing might you choose to start thinning out this week?