Once, whilst out walking with our son, Kyle, I encouraged him to keep an eye out for conkers. Conkers, for those unfamiliar with them, are the large seeds of a horse chestnut tree that are a favourite with children for hunting out and playing with.
It was still very early in the conker season and so the search was a drawn out process. I scanned the ground we walked on for the prickly green balls that fall from the trees. This casing, when removed, contains the actual hard, deep brown, ball of a seed.
As I scoured the terrain for a freshly fallen conker, Kyle kept finding the rotting, dirty and half buried conkers of last year. I continued to encourage Kyle to look for the fresh conkers until at one point Kyle simply asked, “Why?” A good question indeed! Why did we have to find the fresh ones? In fact, once we looked more closely at the older conkers, we saw conkers with roots on, starting a life of a whole new tree.
As I continued our walk my mind drifted to this scripture. We can so easily chase the new, the fresh, the next ‘thing’ and completely miss what God has already started because it doesn’t look so clean and fresh. We can get caught up in the excitement of all that’s new and miss the importance of perseverance, pushing through, growing slowly but with a purpose. Yes, it may be hard work, dirty and seemingly slowing moving but it’s the way to fruitfulness.
It may feel as though nothing is really changing, yet it’s so important that we continue with what God has started, rather than continuously searching for what’s the next “new thing” for us to chase. New life will only come to us through allowing the old to die and new growth to begin and then flourish. This takes time and persistence... two words which aren’t favourable in today’s ‘instant’ society.
Let’s consider how much time we spend on chasing the “new” and how much time we spend on persisting with deepening our roots, letting the old die and seeing strong and steady growth in our lives.
Prayer: Father God, thank You that I’m a new creation in You. Please give me the strength to persist in allowing the old to die and the growth to take place, so that I can be more fruitful for Your Kingdom. Amen.
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