Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Determinate vs. Indeterminate Spiritual Growth

I read somewhere recently that there are at least 7500 known varieties of tomatoes. Over the past few years we have grown tomatoes here at home. This year we might be planting 30 different varieties. There are several different types and classifications for tomatoes, but the two I find interesting are the determinate and indeterminate. Determinate grow in a rather defined area, bear fruit (yes, tomatoes are classified as fruit) for a set amount of time, should not be pruned and will perform quite well in a container on your patio.
Now here is where I make a real connection. Indeterminate tomatoes are also known as “vining” tomatoes. They grow every which way, grow much better when pruned, need a great deal of care, lots of water, fertilizer and light. Only a few things can stop them from growing. One is frost. The other is if they are not adequately taken care of during the growing season.
So the question naturally comes for many of us. In your spiritual life is your growing season over? Are you determinate or indeterminate?
John 15 says, “ 1"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” There is a rather fearful and joyful freedom in allowing the light and nutrients to season our growth as disciples. The lovely mystery that is the love of God should not have constraints or boundaries, but for many, it does. Open yourself up to hear the word of God and experience deep spiritual growth in your life. Go in peace and go with God.

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