“Let It Go.”

The fig tree in my parlor looked shabby.  If yellow were the plant’s new green it would still need a major trim.  Fearful the entire five foot tall plant might die, I sharpened my pruning shears.  Which branch to cut?  Which one to leave?  I didn’t have a clue.  For more than 15 years, old ‘figgie’ had graced my home and I hoped he would last another 15 years.  Previously the plant had been pruned by gardeners who knew what they were doing. This time I must inflict the pain.  Timidly I chose a branch and snipped.  Then a second and a third.  As I cut, I thought of the verse in John 15:1 NIV, “I am the vine and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch that bears no fruit.” If I didn’t trim old ‘figgie’ he would die.  Like a surgeon, I removed every twig and branch protruding past a boundary I’d manufactured in my brain.  I could ‘see’ the plant cringe with each of my merciless attacks.   Since I regularly talk to my plants, I apologized for any pain I might be causing my beloved friend.

And then I recalled the day I was sitting in church feeling surly because I hadn’t been asked to be a part of the morning ‘praise team.’  Any sense of praise and joy had vanished from my heart with the first note.   Recently having heard the story of a contemporary Christian artist who’d given up all music for a year to clear his head, I couldn’t imagine doing that.  A whole year? I’d been singing in public since as a five-years-old, I’d warbled “Are You Ready for Jesus to Come?” in our little church in Troy, N.Y.   Piano and organ lessons, choirs, trios, solos, duets, ladies’ choruses followed.  I couldn’t remember a time when I wasn’t actively involved in music performance.

As I contemplated my ill feelings, the verse in Matthew 5:30 NIV took on new meaning.  ” If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.  It is better to lose a part of your body than for your whole being to go to hell.”  Could it be that to stay close to Jesus, I needed to prune all music performance from my life, for however long it may take?  Like ‘figgie’, in order to thrive I needed to remove the dead branches separating me from the root-Jesus Christ.

It’s been four years since I’ve sung one note in my home church, even from the pew.  Each week during the music I close my eyes and fill my mind with the lyrics and their message to me.  I confess, the sacrifice hurts at times, but I have faith the day will come when I can safely ‘bellow with the best of ‘em’ without one negative thought lingering in my brain.

The popular Disney song says, “Let It Go.”  Knowing nothing can separate me from the love of Christ except me I can happily let it go.  (See Romans 8:28-29) Maybe you don’t need the Gardener to chop off any of your dead branches.  Maybe you only need a little trim here or snip there.  But take it from a well-pruned fig tree that is once again thriving, it’s worth it to let it go!

Be Sociable, Share!
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>