6 Then Jesus told this story: “A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. 7 Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s just taking up space in the garden.’
8 “The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. 9 If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down.’”
It usually takes a fig tree a few years to develop and produce fruit. Jesus offers the fig tree accountability (the spot in the vineyard will go to something that will produce fruit if the fig tree doesn't start producing fruit) and grace (it gets another year, another chance to produce fruit.)
A - Application
I took some time after reading this parable to think about where I fit in this story. Like everybody else I know, I have potential God has given me. I have specific talents and so do you. I have a certain amount of time and energy each day and so do you. I have people I relate to each day and each week and so do you. Here is what I thought and prayed about:
- Am I reaching my full potential or do I have some barren branches?
- Am I using all my talents and resources or are some of them being under utilized or unused?
- Am I using my talents and resources for God's glory or am I keeping them to myself?
- Am I willing to take God up on a second (or third or fourth or...) chance?
- What practices do I need to implement to reach my potential?
- What practices do I need to give up to reach my potential?
- Who is going to help me produce more fruit in God's vineyard?
P - Prayer
Lord, thank you for planting me in the vineyard. I want to produce fruit for you! For the brokenness and barrenness in my life, give me your grace and healing. Give me that second opportunity to produce fruit for you. Help me manage my time wisely. Direct me in using the resources I have to do the most good for you. Help me say no to unproductive things and habits. Help me say yes to the things that matter most to you. Amen.