The tomato plants have grown well over three feet tall. I can't see any fruit through the jungle of greenery. There are hundreds of promising and pretty flowers, but it's too late in the season for them to become anything.
Winter nears and
there's no time.
Kneeling with scissors, I examine each stem; each branch. All fruitless branches are removed and tossed on a heap.
Hundreds of flowers - beautiful, full-of-promise, look-just-like-they-should flowers, have to be sacrificed for the good of the fruit.
I clip fruitless yellow. If allowed to stay, these flowers and extra branches will continue to drain energy from the plant. Tomatoes won't grow or mature, and the flowers will continue to bloom and promise, but yield nothing.
Quickly and ruthlessly, I clip stems and branches. Thick ones. All the effort and time and energy that went into growing those precious stem doesn't matter now. It's not producing fruit, and that's the measure.
That's the measure.
Jesus is the vine, and we are the branch
...so which branch am I? Which one is my church? Are we flower-filled, full of promise but yielding nothing?
Are we producing immature fruit that will die for the sake of flowers?
Have we found fruit and nourished it for a great harvest?
... and isn't that the measure?