“…And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard looked and beheld the tree… and it had sprung forth and began to bear fruit. And he beheld that it was good…and if you labor with your might with me ye shall have joy in the fruit.” (Jacob 5: 17,71)
I’ve sat here by the window staring blankly out at the bare wall of branches for a long time. I remind myself that some days I think the twigs are pretty if I extend my gaze to the blanket of white below, but mostly I feel like they’re a shivering reminder of starkness. Today I looked out and noticed perfect drops of water outlining the tree like lights strung on the branches. And then I saw buds. Yes buds! A rainy day yes, but look at those buds not yet emerged, with the expectant delivery hiding within the branches. It is here, with this view, that I’ve been perfecting the art of procrastination the last few weeks. This post being one of the many opportunities and assignments I’ve had lately that has been blocked in my brain, barricaded by my own complacent weariness. The lull of status updates, article links, and perfect pictures swallows my productivity while planting shallow external thoughts; a siren call leading to more frustration. I tell myself to dive deep, to find the roots of seeds planted long ago, to focus darn it! (Maybe a little censorship occurred just special for Segullah.)
But you see, there’s something to the resistance. The expectation of the bud, and the expectation of things hoped for; for that measure of our creation to bloom. I suppose in the waiting and even enduring it shows a certain care. Sure procrastination is a simple example for a larger concept, but it’s the same idea. I thought of this when reading some of Stephen Pressfield’s book, The War of Art where he says,
“Resistance is directly proportional to love. If you’re feeling massive Resistance, the good news is, it means there’s tremendous love there too. If you didn’t love the project that is terrifying you, you wouldn’t feel anything. The opposite of love isn’t hate; it’s indifference. The more Resistance you experience, the more important your unmanifested art/project/enterprise is to you—and the more gratification you will feel when you finally do it.”
I really do think the majority of us care, and maybe the perfectionist in us momentarily halts as the caring turns to worry. I needed to be reminded that maybe I’ve used my harvest up and it’s time for replanting. It’s ours for the taking. A good friend once told me that we simultaneously live in a state of lack and abundance and we get to choose which we notice. Abundance. I want abundance. Because in those moments when the wind gets caught in your lungs, or you realize just how many incredible friends are in your world, or when you are actually grateful for your body as your legs are carrying you up a mountain, nature reminds you that it will never let you down. Sure the winters are long, and the trees are bare, but those buds never lie. God seeks to repair and nourish. Grafting, cutting, planting, pruning. Pressure and expectations when aligned with God- a God promising change and certainty- can nourish us and produce a new spring. I know it’s true, nature proves it every year, and yet how soon we forget. It’s an obvious metaphor that we all hear and have probably thought about, but true in its simplicity. Let’s see the buds, or at least know they’re on their way even though it may have a bit of a tough journey to get to us.
What buds are you waiting for? How does nature remind us of eternal truths? Have you found creativity and love through resistance?