“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. ‘ John 15:1-4
I have been around animals and livestock off and on for the majority of my life. I have worked on a dairy, helped neighbors with their cattle and spent a number of winters working hogs. I think most anyone can benefit from time working with and learning from animals.
One of my greatest lessons growing up came from the quarter horses my family raised, a passion I have recently rekindled. That lesson, taught to me by our horses, is the necessity of time… “quality” time. The thing about horses is, they’ll only become what you pour into them, figuratively speaking. You see, regardless of pedigree, confirmation, smarts, temperament, etc, unless you invest time, a lot of focused quality time, they will never achieve anything close to their potential. You need to train them, teach them to do the things you would have them do. You have to repeat the processes over and over so that it becomes second nature. Through that time and devotion they learn what you want from them and you learn what they need from you. To think that you could take a green horse, turn them out in the pasture, come back in the spring and believe you could throw a saddle on them and head out for the horizon would be ludacris. To think that you’d even be able to get a handle on them and lead them to the corral would be an extraordinary stretch. You have not established any form of a relationship. There has been no trust built. They don’t know you and you could not possibly know them, let alone want either wants and needs. At that point, you got your work cut out for you.
So, apply that image to any relationship you choose. The successful ones, the ones that are happy, joyous and fruitful are the ones in which you’ve invested “quality” time. There’s trust, understanding, common goals. You have established history. You’ve learned from and shared with one another. You’re moving toward realizing the potential of that partnership.
Now, apply that principle to your relationship with Jesus. If you feel like that relationship is a successful, happy, joyous fruit bearing one, I would guarantee that you have invested a great deal of quality time cultivating it. You have built a foundation of trust, understanding and common goals. You have sought to draw near, listen and learn from Him. You have allowed Him to hewn your rough edges, refine you and use you in a manner befitting the qualities He blessed you with. The same as my horses, no matter what innate qualities I have been bestowed, without guidance, tutelage and, yes, discipline from my Master, it would be ludacris to expect to see me achieve even a fraction of my potential. And… wouldn’t that be a waste?! Have a blessed weekend.
In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy