Prune – verb
1. to cut or lop off (twigs, branches, or roots).
2.to cut or lop superfluous or undesired twigs, branches, or roots from; trim.
3.to rid or clear of (anything superfluous or undesirable).
4.to remove (anything considered superfluous or undesirable).
Over the last year I’ve allowed a pruning in my life. My blogs became fewer, my days were no longer intentionally set the way I wanted but instead often changed up in a weird, chaotic seeming to me, but divinely purposed to God way. To tell you that it was easy or that it wasn’t on some days excruciatingly painful would be a lie. I wish we could be pruned like a haircut where you feel excited at the anticipated outcome. For me, a Type A, there have been days when I want scream STOP! ENOUGH! OUCH!, only I grew up in the Central California Valley, where vineyards grow in abundance, and I know pruning is necessary for the next season. Pruning is an ugly necessary part of bearing exceptional fruit. In the Central Valley, the winter is ugly. Everything is pruned, fog sets in, money is tight because few are working, and there is this stillness, this holding pattern as we anticipate the coming of Spring and the new abundant crop and the action that comes along with it. All the while the vineyards are digging deep and baring their souls and most look away because it’s uncomfortable and desolate and a process that is completed deep within.
I remember some years ago, I was walking my father’s vineyard at winter time, and I told my dad that the vines look gloomy without leaves. He answered “They don’t look gloomy… They are showing you their soul. Looking at them you can see their essence, their strength and weakness… You can see their skeleton and help them to become in what you want them to become by encouraging their natural process through the pruning”~By Mariana Onofri The Vines of Mendoza
So quietly I went about my business and agonized over things I thought were important but The Lord said had to go. It would be simple if you got to prune yourself. If the vine could say to the vinedresser,
“Please take a little off the top, but you see that strong sturdy branch there, yes that one, please leave that one alone, I’ve cultivated a following there, and there is much fruit that came from it.”
It doesn’t work that way. Pruning takes away all of the pretty and all that is left is the stump. This is why it’s so crazy hard to do. To be stripped away of things you felt were important and worthwhile but weren’t for you in this next season. To be looked at by your peers as dropping the ball or worse no longer a team player because you weren’t showing up in uniform ready for the action and instead were taking time to sit on the bench and observe the frenzy that you once loved so much.
Baby, sometimes the season is over.
Sometimes you’re the star quarterback who thinks they have a season left. It doesn’t mean life is over. It just means the chapter is finished and it’s time to start a new one.
When your definition is your title, there will be pruning. Truth be told we’ll be in denial over this. We’ll proclaim to anyone who listens that our title isn’t what defines us because we’re richer than that but the fact remains that we cry out: THIS IS MY CAUSE! THIS IS MY PASSION! Yes, that is what the vineyard says to the vinedresser. The vineyard who also professes to be a surrendered soul.
Our cause and our passion belong to the Master
or is that simply a statement made for those who choose to listen to us and the lie we tell our heart as we pilgrim forward on the way to the things that are meaningful to us? Just something to think about.