So I’ve been thinking about moderation a lot this summer – or better put – God’s placed this topic on my heart. It’s something not often talked about and perhaps doesn’t have the same razzle dazzle as pop culture fads like “the power of positive thinking”, “living your best life” or “speaking your truth”. But I don’t think it should be overlooked. Moderation is a key player to creating a successful life and bearing fruit within it.
Nature has a beautiful way of showing us ways to live, including the fruits of moderation. A few years ago, my husband and I bought an old farmhouse. It was in one family for four generations and had many of the original charms – including a couple of fruit trees. We (meaning ‘me’) were elated! Fresh, free produce at our fingertips!
Yet, there was one problem. I didn’t exactly know anything about caring for trees, let alone fruit trees. And neither did my New York City born husband. So I watched all of the youtube videos I could find on the subject matter and I started pruning. And I pruned some more. Took a bit more off the top. And maybe just pruned a little more after that. For those of you who are like me and know nothing about fruit trees, I’ll let you in on a secret: Over-pruning a tree stresses it out. So needless to say, the next season, we had little to no fruit. I went overboard with the pruning and the trees needed to recuperate.
Hop on over to year two, I did nothing to the trees. I decided that I didn’t know what I was doing (which is true) and I let nature take its course. And viola! I had big beautiful apples! I was SO excited!! However, just as soon as they appeared, they were gone; Japanese beetles covered and devoured my trees.
Because, now we are on to year three, 2021 was going to be our year. So I hired a professional to take care of the trees, determined to do this right. He cared for them, fertilized them, did all of the things you need to do. It was a great summer. We had so much rain that I maybe watered my vegetable garden 3 times. It’s unheard of! But that elation, again, quickly dissipated. All of this rain created a fungus. And that fungus rotted ALL of my apples.
Too much pruning, too many bugs, too much rain. All of it affected the yield. Now “too much” didn’t kill my trees; they are still standing. But it did prevent them from coming into their fullness. No one was able to enjoy their full potential.
So how does that relate to us humans? What happens when we lack moderation? In thinking of some common areas where we may have our own “too much”: television, social media / phones, news, social obligations, alcohol, shopping, politics, food, fitness, etc. What are the results of these activities when we overdo it? We may become worn out, stressed, tired, overwhelmed and simply put, distracted. That’s really what it is: distractions that keep us from bearing good fruit and thus, the amazing possibilities God has in store for you.
In your own life, what are your areas of “too much”? What distractions do you indulge in? It may be in frequency or amount. How has it impacted your life or how does it potentially impact it? How might it impact others? What amazing possibilities are in store for you and the ones you love from choosing moderation? Which fruits are just waiting to ripen in your life? What is your “too much” and what is God calling you towards?
Meditation: And let us never slacken in doing good; for if we do not give up, we shall have our harvest in due time. – Galatians 6:9