I was recently listening to a speaker who said entering into his 20’s was like an exclamation mark. You know, like a “I got this,” attitude, “I have all the answers,” or “trust me, I know.” He said when he entered his 30’s the exclamation mark turned into a question mark: he found he had a lot more questions and not so many answers.
I can relate. I thought I had a handle on life going into my 20’s only to discover I had a whole lot to learn about life. It seems most everyone is an expert until they actually have to live out what they deem themselves an expert in (leading others, marriage, parenting, etc).
What I have seen in my own life and in the generation before me is that, due to our over emphasis on success and achievement, we have the tendency to be fruit-focused (results) instead of root-focused (character development). Both are important, but the truth is: when we have a healthy root system good fruit naturally grows.
“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit.” – Jesus (Matt. 12:33)
A wise man named Dallas Willard once said, “God is much more concerned with who we are becoming than with what we are doing.” I would have to agree. From Scripture, we see that God is never in a rush or a hurry when it comes to dealing with His children. He often takes us on the long road instead of the short one in order to develop our trust and character in Him.
In this current season I am learning to ask myself better questions. Questions like, “Who I am I becoming today? Who will I be in a decade from now?” “Where am I taking shortcuts?” Question like these and others are helping me to slow down in life. They help me to become more thankful for all that God is doing and to trust Him more with the process of growing in Christ.
I have come to believe the process has a lot to do with our root development. When we no longer despise what we are going through, we begin trusting more in a God who is always good and who is making us into a good tree with good fruit. We all know when you plant a seed you don’t expect to see fruit for some time. However, I think we sometimes forget this when it comes to life and the things of God. We want instant fruit when God wants to give us better roots.
If you need biblical examples, do yourself the favor of studying the life of Joseph, David, and Daniel. And lets not forget that the best tree to ever live, King Jesus, didn’t begin His ministry until He was 30 years old.
Fruit takes time and a good root system is the reason why we see good fruit. In the meantime, may we give thanks for each season of life, knowing that what God is taking us through in this season is preparing us for future seasons.