The Church Mouse: Berry Picking Lessons

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein. – Psalms 24:1

July always reminds me of picking berries. I spent many hours every summer picking blackberries in the area near my home. I love blackberries. There is nothing better than a warm blackberry cobbler with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream on top. 

There is however, a lot to be learned from picking berries that can be lessons in life. 

1. Don’t judge! Berries come in all sizes and shapes. I discovered that some of the biggest & prettiest ones have very little taste, or they are very sour. While the smallest and the ugly ones are often the sweetest. People are like that. How often do the common ordinary people get overlooked? Yet, most of the time they are the first ones who offer to help out in a crisis.

2. No pain, no gain! Berry bushes, like some people, are full of thorns that are sharp and jagged. After a day of picking, I would come home covered in scratches which would bleed and hurt. I also would have bug bites, plus I was hot and sweaty. 

Was it worth it? Yes it was! 

If you really care for someone…then they are worth the pain.  If you pray for them and love them…who knows what might happen in their life and yours! And we all know that God thinks people are worth it…look what his son, Jesus did for us!

3. Patience is a virtue! Berries grow in clusters on which individual ones ripen at different times. If berries are picked before they are ready, they are sour and worthless. Just like looking for berries, if we are patient and kind, with the people that we think are grouchy and mean, we will reap a greater reward. Often it took a while to get a bucket full of berries, but the final product made it worth the wait. It is the same with people some time, we just have to wait until God says the time is right.  

4. Seek and you shall find! I was always amazed at the number of berries I could find hiding under the leaves. The ones that are easy to spot and to reach are often raided by the birds. Most of the time I had to search, looking under leaves and close to the ground for the berries that were hiding from me. Some of the best berries are hidden from view. The same is true with people. We cannot always tell what is going on in a person’s life by just looking at them. Often folks put on a happy face for the world when they are really hurting and sick on the inside. This means we should take care to be nice to everyone and try to lighten their load with a smile. 

Being a Christian is not easy. We have to work on it every day. If every person who passed through our lives came ready to accept the Gospel there would be no daily challenges to be met or hidden talents to be uncovered. Just like picking berries is often not a lot of fun, but if you do not pick them there is no berry cobblers to eat. The same with people, if you do not love them they will never find God. Let’s all take a few minutes from our busy schedule and pray and reflect on how we can be better at telling others about Jesus. 

Prayer – “Father we come to you thanking you for all of our blessings you bestow upon us. We ask Father that you help us to be more diligent in our service. Help us when we are out seeking the lost; to look for the good in everyone. Help us to guide others to you and we will give you all the glory, honor and praise. Amen.”

– the Church Mouse

Work hard; Pray harder!