I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
Cliche “New Year, New You”. Lists of resolutions, goals and aspirations, with expectation of a new transformation.
In his lyrics, James Taylor said it best: “Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall. All you have to do is call, and I’ll be there.” Imagine Jesus singing this to your heart?
Instead of the same old resolutions, lose weight, save money, etc. What if this year was different? What if this year, intention led the resolutions, ie: prayer and planning opened you up for more. More purpose in living? More peace in chaos? More intentional time set aside for things you genuinely value as a priority?
On average, we use six metaphors a minute in the English Language.
Humor me…Imagine, for a moment, a Tree.
Close your eyes and see it in your mind's eye.
What are you sensing?
Where are your roots? Are they solid and deep or shallow and surface level?
Is there water nearby?
How thick is your trunk?
How tall does your tree stand?
What do your branches look like? Are they strong and steady or weak and brittle?
Does your tree have leaves or buds?
What kind of fruit is your tree bearing? Is it vibrant and healthy or dull and lifeless?
What do the trees around your tree look like?
What is the feeling of the environment around your tree?
Where is the Sunlight?
Metaphors are fascinating reflections of oneself. Think deeply about how each description reflects you; your current season of life, the desires of your heart, etc. What if your purpose is more significant than this year, possibly extending into generations as trees do, to be a covering in times of challenge, to remain steady in a firmly rooted foundation, or to stand tall with others surrounding you?
No matter the response, the idea is growth. We are all made to grow! God is directing our growth with His Grace. Grace to see that we don't get it right all the time, but we can still go on; with courage, standing tall, reaching out, shedding the old to make room for new, providing shade for those needing a covering, reaching for the source of light and life. Living water is found only in Jesus, our light source in this dark world.
John 15:6-7 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
Imagine your tree again; it's representative of your impact. Do you see strength that brings hope and life, or frail withered branches headed for the fire? May the Tree of Life imagery lead you to truly discover your identity. A living legacy, growing in Grace, Hope, Truth and Peace from the one who gives abundantly, Jesus.
What you nourish your garden with grows, and what you focus on expands.
I challenge you to sit in the metaphor of your tree this New Year. See in your mind's eye how the tree parallels as a visual for transformation. Every breath is precious.
Drink up living water, bask in the sunlight and Grow in God's Glorious Goodness this year.
Galatians 5:22-23 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
- Ashley Guzman