Saturday, 29 September 2012

Sin will take you further...lessons from blackberries

This time last week, I was having a lovely day with my sister, and her family.  They came up to bring Abi's birthday present, and just to visit in a general sense.

Visitors = baking.  Angela kindly brought dessert for the evening meal, but I baked for lunch time.  Raspberry frangipane tart.  Yum-my.  First time making it, and it will NOT be my last.  It was sooo tasty, and far, far nicer than anything that a certain man by the name of Kipling could rustle up.  All credit to the recipe, which I simply followed.  

For those who this will make any sense to - it didn't have a soggy bottom, but the edge had a few "over-bake" issues.  The flavour, however, was brilliant, which made up for the crust issues.  Yes, you know what I watch.  I love Mary and Paul. *grins*  For those of you who have no idea what i am talking about....Sorry.  

Moving on.

We went blackberry picking in the afternoon.  I LOVE blackberry picking and it evokes a multitude of memories.  Polo neck sweaters.  Welly boots.  Prickled arms.   Cold, frosty, autumn days.  Big, fat, juicy blackberries.  

Hang on.

COLD, frosty days?  It was STUNNING here last Saturday.  Did I grow up in a colder climate?  You betcha!  Scotland's blackberry season did NOT include warm, balmy afternoons, with summer clothing.  And, I tell you, that makes blackberry picking FAR more treacherous.  We have the prickles and scratches to prove it. It was fun, nonetheless!

Especially for Josh.  He was climbing fences, clambering on gates, having me hang on to his arm whilst he stretched over to get the big, juicy ones that were a bit tricky to reach, and sitting on his aunties shoulders.  Yes, ON her shoulders.  You see, when your auntie is, as any other picker, determined to get the best that nature can offer, she is willing to go to such extreme lengths as putting her almost 11 year old nephew on her shoulders.  I mean, obviously, I WOULD have done likewise, but I had a baby sleeping in his carrier on my back.  So, unfortunately, I couldn't help with such antics.  *aherm* 

It was worth it, though.  We got enough to then go home and make some home made blackberry jam!!

Look at that gorgeous colour!

As so very often happens, I got to thinking about some spiritual applications from our blackberry picking.  Two were negative, one was positive.

Negative first.

Do you find that when you pick berries, that the nicest, juiciest, biggest and absolutely best looking ones are out of reach.  Out of reach, with prickly brambles in the way.  With ditches between you and the berries.  With nettles in the way.  But, nonetheless, you stretch, try and get scratched and prickled, only to still not be able to reach them.  It could be done, but you would get fairly damaged if you tried.

Oh, how like sin is that!! The things that we are tempted to do will usually result in getting hurt.  Whether just a little "prickle" as we nudge a little into that sin, or seriously hurt as we launch ourselves to get that thing that we so desperately want.  Getting deeper into sin rarely gives us what we want, and only gets us hurt in the process.  What we see as something worth having, will only wound up with us getting hurt.

The other thing we found with the picking, was this - we kept getting further, and further, and further away from home.  We kept seeing some more nice looking fruit, just a bit further down the road.  It was so tempting to just keeping going on and on, and forget what the time was!

That is so like our sinful hearts, that so easily wander away from the Lord.  Again, sin tempts us - we see things that we want to indulge in, and we hardly realise that they are taking us gently, slowly and subtly away from "home" - from our Lord.  It's such a subtle and slow process, and before we know it we are far, far away from where we were.  We need to turn around and go back to where we should be.  Back "home".

"Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer
than you want to stay and cost you more than you want to pay"

Then, the positive.

We had been learning, in family devotions, about having a co-operative spirit.

"Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour."
Ecclesiaistes  4:9

I think we had several ways that this worked out well for us!  I held onto Joshua, so he could climb the gate and reach for the best fruit.  Again, I held his hand, to provide counter balance, so he could reach further to fruit over a ditch.  The, the epitome of this proverb was Angela putting Josh on her shoulders!! That was a definite "2 better than 1"!!!  We most definitely had a better reward for our labour, working together!  it was especially lovely to be able to show the children, in a practical way, that the truth we were learning, THEY were putting into practice!  God's Word is filled with practical and helpful truths for us, even on a very simple level.

So, a "fruitful" day, all round! Now to finish off the jam we already had, so we can crack open the home made jam.


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