I love quotes. Shocking, right? Probably not. Anyone that knows me, reads anything I write or has ever come across my twitter or facebook account knows that I love me some quotes. I find such enrichment in being encouraged by people of all types who have studied all sorts of facets of life and who are famous or recognizable for so many different reasons, yet there is common knowledge among them all. The “sweetness” to life has many forms and hearing about the ways people find that sweetness makes me happy. It also pulls me into this world where I truly feel as if anything is possible. It is, actually, Not sure why I ever doubt that when I have Jesus but anyway.
As I logged on to pinterest, and if you don’t know what website I am referring to, you must learn immediately because it will change your life, the first thing I see is a pin that my friend had on her page that said, “Why not go out on a limb? That’s where the fruit is,” by Mark Twain. Yes, it is poetic and a lovely quote but that is not why I was so ecstatic. I distinctly remember talking to my mom a while ago about my adventurous side, my need to experience something “new” after college and do something that completely took me out of my comfort zone or familiar bubble. I told her I felt as if the Lord was telling me, “Cleere, why are you afraid to go out on a limb? THAT is where the fruit is.” So, you can imagine how I felt as I saw this on the first page of my pinterest account. I felt a little nudge in my spirit as I looked up and thought, Lord you never cease to amaze me. While a million other people also saw this pin and this quote is far from unfamiliar, it registered with me and for that moment and still right now, I feel it directly speaking and applying to my life.
There is no need to convince me that really living and bearing “fruit” requires us to go out on a limb. Sometimes that means a different locations, sometimes that means a job we feel inadequate to perform, sometimes that means being immersed in a workplace that is completely different from our usual work style. Whatever it means, I am sure that it is worth it. Think about it: If an individual has the choice to either read a book about another country and learn of its’ people that way or to completely move there, adapt the culture and live on a daily basis surrounded by those people. Which would bear more fruit? Or if someone has the choice to attend a church and sit in the back row or to join a church and is offered to work in a small group and go on a church retreat. Which would bear more fruit? The point is, “fruit” in these cases means the enrichment in our lives. Whether that be through relationships, a wealth of knowledge, a deeper understanding of another culture or simply a greater understanding of one’s self, we must be willing to dive in head first and not just dip our toes in.
The fact that my last name is Cherry only enhances this tree analogy for me. I see it so clearly (cleerely…sorry, had to do it). I know that while God wants me to feel secure, He longs for me to feel that security in Him and Him alone. Not in my circumstances. Or my friendships. Or my romantic relationship. Or my location. Or my career. Or anything of that nature. This is not to say that he doesn’t long for us to succeed and maintain those areas the best that we can, but those parts of our lives do not form our identity. He longs for us to get to a place where our heart is so content and secure in His love, that circumstances do not waiver our faith or take away from our enjoyment of the day. And when those areas flourish? Life is all the more better. God wants us to go out on a limb for Him and be adventurous in our nature. Life is a journey and it is as exciting as you make it! Let Him guide you but remember that you must be willing to go out on a limb to taste that sweetness He so freely offers.
Song of the Day: “I Will Follow”, by Chris Tomlin. Where He goes, we go. Where He stays, we stay. Where He moves, we move. Don’t be scared to go out on a limb cause Jesus has already gone before you:-)