“What is that?!,” exclaimed my five-year-old son while eating a juicy peach and hit the pit in the middle. “Ew, I don’t like this with the pit. I don’t want it anymore.” He threw the perfectly good peach in the garbage and went to grab an apple.
I stopped him before he could reach the countertop and directed him back to the garbage pail. I opened the lid leaned in and pulled out the perfectly good peach that sat on top of the discarded mail from the day. I handed it back to him softly remarking, “We don’t throw out something just because it has a pit. The pit has a purpose and is what makes the peach, a peach.”
He tried to hand me back the peach and responded, “But the apples don’t have a big pit. I don’t bite them.” I pulled out the pit of the half-ate-peach and handed him back the fruit. His eyes grew wide. I told him now we can bury this and grow a whole tree.
In the last few years, our family has been on a grand adventure. It doesn’t look anything like we thought it would or prepared ourselves for — adventures rarely pan out as expected.
During this adventure, there have been many highs and many, many, lows. There have been intense periods of suffering and numerous trials. We’ve hit many pits. Overall the adventure is best described as full.
I am learning two vitally important lessons from our adventures so far: Embrace the pits and stop comparing fruit.
Embrace the Pits
Sometimes when we are in a period of suffering and trial we only see the difficulty directly in front of us — or the pit. We don’t see the fullness of the experience we are gleaning in the moment of the hard circumstance.
We become dissatisfied. We wish the hard away. We pray it away. We get angry for God putting a pit in the peach. We forget the pit is what is needed for the peach to grow in the first place — it’s what makes the peach a peach.
What this uncovers is our desire for results of growth without having to go through the hard that most growth is a product of. We want the peach without the pit — but life doesn’t work that way.
My son didn’t want to take the time to eat around the pit of the peach. He saw it as a hassle. Something gross and hard — a waste since it was non-edible. How often do we have the same reaction to the hard things in our lives?
We want the glory and fame. We want the accolades and applause. We want the cheers and recognition for a job well done — yet we don’t want the very things that will give us this fruit.
Perhaps if we choose to look at the difficulties and hard circumstances of life differently; instead of deeming them as unwelcomed and embraced the challenge as an opportunity for growth, we would live much more fulfilled lives.
The problem you face, the difficult position you find yourself in — what if we choose to see it as the source for the best life ahead of us? What if we really believe what we often say as disciples of Jesus, “every gift from God is good.”
Please don’t misunderstand me as saying God sends terrible things such as cancer or death. Those are the result of sin that entered the world back in the Garden of Eden. What I am referring to is the results of our choices. The results of other’s choices that affect us.
What if instead of seeing the pit as something to get rid of, we saw the pit for what it really is? The source to grow a whole tree full of fruit which will feed you forever. In reality, a pit is simply a small portion of the whole fruit, which contains the life source for an entire orchard!
Stop Comparing Fruit
We compare our lives to others and see how good they have it and how hard we have it. We look at other’s lives and compare their fruit to our pits.
My orchard will be different than yours. I am growing peaches and you are growing apples. Our fruit is different — as are our pits. My peach trees may have been growing longer than yours, but perhaps your apples are better tended in this climate.
Your apples make amazing apple pies, but your pits are filled with arsenic. Yet it is the pit and amount of arsenic poison that causes the apples to grow to be apples and have a certain tartness. Apple pie can’t be replaced by using peaches — then it won’t be apple pie.
My easily blemished peaches make incredible jam – especially the bruised and almost rotten ones — they tend to make the sweetest jam. Yet, it is their very nature of having thin skin and bruising easily that makes them perfect for jam.
It’s not to say that either fruit can’t be used for the other purpose, but some people like pie over jam or vice versa using those particular fruits. Stop comparing your fruit to others. Stop comparing how it is being used or at what rate.
Our comparison of trial and growth is never for any noble purpose, but for our own selfish one. It does not help us in our adventure. If anything it causes us to miss out what is right in front of us.
Our pits are useful. They help us to produce fruit. They create entire orchards that feed us forever. We have to plant it, tend it, and water it — after the tree blooms, it will feed us and others as well. May we share and be open to how the Lord wants to use the orchard. May we trust his plans.
We don’t throw out something just because it has a pit. The pits have a purpose and is what makes a peach, a peach. We planted my son’s peach pit in a pot and are waiting to watch it grow. How are you treating the pits in your life?