My blackberry patch produces a handful of gorgeous, ripe berries every morning. However, even though I’ve solved the bird problem with my scare tape; even though I’ve created a beautiful area with lovely tied up canes; even though I’ve fertilized and removed pests, I discover another problem.
They taste bitter and more tart this year. Why? Well, I learn three things: First, I’m not watering them enough. Second, I don’t have technically the right soil as blackberries need loam soil (sand, clay, silt combination). Last, I need to let the berries ripen so much that they nearly fall into my hands.
Water. Good soil. Time.
I think about the fruit of my own life. I think about writing projects, teaching, parenting, and relationships of all kinds. I think about how I can get all the externals right in my life, but I might not take care of my roots or give myself the time I need to grow in certain areas. I’m not offering the sweetest, best, authentic version if I lose that rootedness in God’s word, the connection to the living water of the Holy Spirit, and the time needed before rushing into new things.
If the fruit is bitter, I go back to taking care of my roots.