We have some plum trees in our small, back yard orchard. The fruit is just getting ripe for eating, and I was craving some of the juicy goodness. We have an old, tall ladder in the orchard in order to reach the higher branches. In my flip-flops I made the ascent up the rickety ladder only to discover that the fruit was located even higher than I could reach. I waited there on the second to the top rung and wondered how I was gonna get the fruit into my bucket. The branches were too thin to climb. The ladder was too old to trust it’s top rung.
What should I do? Walk away and let the fruit rot? Scream at the branches and hope they surrender the plums? Cut the whole tree down and never have to deal with this scenario again?
Nope. I dismounted the ladder and while upon firm ground, I simply shook the tree.
I shook the tree and boy did it give up some major fruit. It felt like grenades dropping on my head. I was startled by the amount of fruit that PLUMmetted to the ground (get it?).
My abundant fruit collection gave me some thoughts of a spiritual nature. As a Christian, I am called to be a worker that labors for the harvest. In other words: I want to work hard to bring people to Jesus. This is often difficult and discouraging – like pulling teeth…or…like picking plums. But it shouldn’t be if you shake the tree.
I believe that if the Spirit of God is alive and working on people’s hearts (which the Spirit does) then my simple role is:
1. To find out which tree to shake.
2. To find out when the tree is to be shook.
Fruit ought to come naturally. As a matter of fact, it should pretty much fall right into your bucket if the timing is right. Sometimes we way over-think and program “evangelism” making it manufactured and downright stale. Other times we force the issue; “converting” by sheer intimidation.
Consider prayerfully asking the Lord where He is working and then choose to join him there. Find the tree with the ripe fruit and shake it.