It’s a good thing to make a dent – if you are a peach tree.
In my reading, I discovered some really interesting information about the reproduction process of a fruit tree. (sounds kind of nerdish doesn’t it?)
My source is Dr. Paul Brand who tended orchards as a hobby and was also a surgeon (but not of the tree variety)
I already knew about the method where man and animals whisk away ripe fruit and leave the seeds far and wide. But I did not know about the dent method of reproduction.
This is how I understand it. When the fruit, say a peach, is ripe to the eye, the seed within is also fully developed.
The tree, if left to itself, kindly releases the peach. Each heavy piece drops to the ground where it impacts the soil with a small dent. This dent is of a strategic design. It essentially creates a small bowl in which the new tree is birthed.
The peach sits in the dent and decomposes around the seed allowing its organic nutrients to seep into the soil. The dent retains it providing the fruit with a fertile place to grow.
When it rains, the water puddles up and remains in that dent, thus providing for that need. And the movement of the water also carries soil which again collects in the dent and buries the seed under a protective blanket.
Eventually there’s a sprout, that become a sapling and before you know it – a mature peach tree capable a reproducing itself.
Brilliant! God gave us the dent method of reproduction for fruit trees – and for Christians as well.
So, here’s the deal. We Christians are planted in the soil of a hard and often hostile world. It sometimes feels like the Gospel we embrace is on the retreat rather than advancing.
There continues to be a desperate need for us to make a dent in this world. How?
By dropping our fruit.
The apostle Paul argued that we were saved from our sins, “in order that we might bear fruit for God.” – Rom 7:4.
This fruit is measured by the kind of character we develop. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
I knew a fellow that took great delight in attacking me and what I believe. When we met, it was a one-way tirade designed to strip me of my convictions. I knew it was dumb to argue, so I listened instead as God enabled me with the fruits of patience, kindness and gentleness.
These days my friend seeks to be with me and is warmly receptive to what I have to say.
It seems that my fruit made a dent.
Paul also says that fruit is measured by the good deeds that we do. “So that you may live worthily of the Lord and please him in all respects—bearing fruit in every good deed…” Colossians 1:10
Good deeds! A theme that Jesus also addressed in Matthew 5:15, “Let your light shine before people, so that they can see your good deeds and give honor to your Father in heaven.”
I have a number of friends – a physician, an accountant, and an engineer who have been involved for many years with the local homeless mission. They have served these displaced folks in the boardroom and in the dining room.
They are motivated by their faith in Jesus, and their compassion for the downtrodden and their reward is in seeing many of these homeless folks come to faith in Jesus each year and becoming productive people again.
It appears that their fruit is making a dent.
So, is your tree bearing fruit? Are you making a dent? Is your Christlike character opening the eyes of the lost around you? Are your good works attracting the attention of this old calloused world?
You don’t have to go to Katmandu to do this. Like the peach tree, our primary area of impact will be nearby – with those with whom we often relate. Think of your neighbors, fellow workers, your grandkids, or even the wait staff at your favorite restaurant – and determine to make a dent.
A PRAYER: Lord help me make a dent in my world.
Scripture references are from the NETBible ®