the pineapple story.
I have been discouraged. I have been frustrated. I feel like I have been playing catch up for about a month (that’s catch up, not ketchup. No condiments were hurt in the making of this blog). I have been tired and spent. But work isn’t done and I’m far from finished. I build home furnishings and ship them all over, and I’m remodeling a house and need to start saving for some pretty big ticket items. My budget and my needs are not getting along very well right now. My attention feels all over; like being caught in a net, the more I struggle and work, the more I get tangled up. It’s so annoying!
Last night I was talking with Jamie and the random idea popped into my head to read her The Pineapple Story. ” Do you want to hear a story?” I asked her. “Mom read it to me when I was a boy. it’s short, like a picture book.” I found it on the bookshelf, where it has rested for years, and flipped open the cover and began to read a story about a missionary in New Guinea who hires the natives to help him plant 1000 pineapple plants and hires them for their work. After the first three years they began to ripen and the natives keep stealing them. Confronted they say: “My hands plant them. My mouth eats them,” that it’s the way of the jungle that ownership belongs to the planter.
The missionary: Otto Koning, realizes that he has been so angry and struggling with the natives because they were stealing from HIS garden, but really he needed to give it to God because it was GOD’s garden. As long as he was contending for his rights and his garden, he was frustrated and offended, but when he surrendered the garden to God, he let God do what God wanted.It actually freed him to love others.
The book closed with a question: What is your pineapple garden?
This struck a chord with me as I read it. There are times I wrestle God for a blessing, and there are times I wrestle God for my pride. I have been over-whelmed by the needs before me; although receiving provision I wrestle with contentment. In my head, I know that everything is God’s, but I fail to actually apply that idea. I work for Him. These are His things. I follow Him. \
It’s an elementary principle in our faith, so try it out like this. The garden in our life is not only what we tend, but on what fruit we wait. if a plant does not come into season, or bear fruit, i become concerned for the health of the plant; however, if it does come into fruit and that fruit is snatched away and I become personally offended and robbed, it is only because I see the fruit as mine and not God’s. This is a metaphor of course. Plug in the examples of your own life to make it yours.
it runs hard along the lines of sufficiency. When I feel my need to do my best to prove myself, it is arrogance dressed up as humility and I am incapable of truly loving or serving anyone as it may tie heavily back to my desire to compensate and control the board. I cannot love my family when I feel overwhelmed in my business because I have put too much favor in my performance and forgot I live for and by God’s goodness. My priorities and His do not align. When I align them with His purpose, I am free because I trust His judgement, and diligent to His purpose, and work to bring honor to His name.
Pan out for a moment. When I look at success as a reward, my god is small. If I think the reward of God is what I receive in this world, I fail to understand God. I’ll break out some good vibes on gardening in the next blog, but everything in this life is a tool for the increase of His kingdom and the glory of His Son. if God is eternal, than reward must be something beyond the finite. This is an amazing truth on which to muse. I turn off the lights tonight and rest in this freedom.