A Reflection on Trust, Choices, and Vines
“Grape vines are not simply born into distinction…they struggled to attain it. It is from teetering on the precipice between life and death that the best fruit is revealed.” (1)
We all begin as tiny seeds, planted by God on this earth, so that each may grow into the person God calls him to be. In the beginning we are tiny, and protected by the soft earth, which fosters our growth. For a while we are protected by this soil, building roots that hold us firmly in the place God has set us, blocked from the heat and storms that could so easily crush us above ground. But then, armed with prayer, sacrifice, and interior life, a crucial moment comes. We are about to break through the surface. We are about to be beset by suffering, struggles, heat, rain, wind, and many other forces. We are about to make ourselves vulnerable, very vulnerable. And we have a choice to make. Either we can choose to stay below the ground, safe, but facing the fact that we will never be truly fulfilled there. Or we can choose to stretch upward, break through to the surface and the light of day, face the struggles, and follow the incredible plan that God has in store for us. If we stay below the surface, we may have deep roots, but we will never produce the fruits that give those deep roots purpose; what is the point of roots if there is nothing to test their strength? If we decide to go up, we choose to live “a love which is given entirely and without reserve.”(2) In essence, the question is: do I trust God? Do I trust that He has planted me in the right plan? Do I believe that I have all the tools I need to flourish, to “serve, praise, love and glorify God,” and do I believe that “all that is His is mine?”(3) Do I trust God enough to abandon myself to Him completely so that I may bear the best fruit?
There are many such times when we must choose whether or not to leave the darkness for the light, whether to risk vulnerability for the sake of bearing fruit. In those moments, we must deepen our roots, pray for strength and guidance, and abandon ourselves to God’s care. In order to bear fruit for the Kingdom of Christ, we must choose to break through the surface.
(1) Chateau Ste Michelle
(2) Directives on Formation in Religious Institutes (number 9)
(3) CCC 1698