Walk With Me

He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
— John 15:2

Walk with me. There's something I want to show you, because it's almost that time of year again. Just down this street is a row of trees. For years I've watched pruning crews pull up and do their work. I admit, it's painful to watch. Cut, snip, snap, buzzzz. And just like that, the crew cleans up the rubble and off they go, leaving nothing but a seemingly empty, barren-looking tree. And here we are. A couple of weeks ago, I took the picture on the left. To the right: the same tree today.

Now, I'm not the first person to see Heaven in a pruning process, and I won't be the last, but I've learned a few simple things. 1) The pruning process helps keep trees healthy. 2) Trees will eventually bear more branches and fruit. 3) Pruning allows more light and oxygen to reach the center of the tree. And 4) pruning trains a tree to take the shape the owner desires.

I probably don't have to say another word, but as long as we're walking, it leaves me no choice. In the area of faith, health, fitness, food, what do we need to prune? Perhaps, for starters, instead of grabbing the cell phone or logging on each morning, we instead reach for God's word or Godly devotional (cut). We can rid the pantry of unhealthy food choices and fill it with natural, healthy alternatives (cut, snip). We can park away from the mall's entrance, take the stairs, walk the block with spouses, play outside with kids. (cut, snip, buzzzz, TIMBER!!).

And when the rubble at our feet is cleared away, we're left with more time for the Lord, healthier options to eat and better alternatives to spark metabolism. Yep, I'm not the first person to see Heaven in a pruning process, but if you and I can 1) get healthy, 2) bear more fruit 3) allow His light to hit us more deeply and 4) take the shape spiritually and physically that our Owner desires, I say, "Bring on the crew."

Thanks for the walk. This is my stop.
- Jimmy Peña