Readings: Deuteronomy 34: 1-12, Psalm 90: 1-6, 13-17
The bushes offered us up a gift the other day. It was an avocado pear that had fallen from the tree in the wind and had managed to hide in the undergrowth long enough for it to dry up into a hardened shell and loose pip.
The tree had soaked up the nourishment it needed from the soil through the roots, pumped it in the blossom which grew into the avocado. After a few months, the avocado had grown large and green and good. It was so green that it managed to hide amidst the leaves of the tree and it managed to evade being found by hiding in the bush once it had fallen from its womb. By the time the bush offered it up to be found, it had once again given up its moisture to the air, which would turn into rain at another time and place and fall to the ground, giving new life to the next season of growth. It had also given up its flesh to be dust which would become the ground upon which the rain would fall and the tree would draw its nourishment from in order to give life to the next blossom as it turns into a fruit.
The skin is hard and the pip is inside, but anything that could nourish the body is long gone. Under the protective layer of hardened skin, the pip still holds within it the potential to become a whole new tree and it is an incredible testimony to the creative nature of God that even in this state; it is never too late to do something different.
The story of this avocado’s season didn’t have to be written in this way though. If we had picked it before it had fallen off of the tree; it could have nourished the body instead of giving itself over to the elements. Within that hardened empty shell lay a story of missed opportunity; a moment to make a difference in the body that it failed to make.
I am sure that most of us will have many stories of missed opportunities, of failed attempts and we give God thanks that we are far more durable and resilient than an avocado. We give God thanks that we hold far more potential and much more opportunities for fulfilled potential than an avocado. Moses had all that he could and he had missed many opportunities to glorify God, but for all of that he was obedient as best he knew how. His flesh did not return to the earth empty and unfulfilled. When it was time, he passed on the mantle to Joshua who would build on what Moses offered and settle the people of God into the Promised Land. Moses’ story would continue to be written and would continue to add value to the body even up until this day. As often as his life brings people closer to God is as often as his story continues to be written.
Your story has yet to end. It is still being written and what may have been a failed attempt or a missed opportunity could still be written over with opportunities taken and differences made. The end is not yet and God will continue to use you for as long as you offer your heart and hands to Him.