Potential and Promise

I frequently made my parents and teachers a tad bit crazy while I was in school. I was able to earn an A-minus average without exerting myself, which meant there were many conversations about living up to my potential, many conversations about flourishing and using my talents, many conversations about making the most of opportunities available to me, and also about letting chances slip through my fingers. I'm certain that all you parents reading these words are nodding your heads, and perhaps smiling a bit thinking about your own children. Parents have a difficult road to walk: wanting your children to do the very best they can, flourish, grow, and be happy, where is the line between fostering independence and making certain your children are able to capitalize on opportunities that come their way? To further complicate matters, each child is different, so the correct amount of encouragement for one child will not be the same for another, each child will listen to instruction differently from various adults in their lives, and to make matters worse, sometimes another adult will get the credit in your child's eyes for something you have been saying for ages but another adult says just once and suddenly it is a genius idea. The seed has sprouted and produced fruit in what, at times, seemed barren soil.

But, as my parents demonstrated so often for me, you love your children, so however the lesson is learned is a welcome relief. 

On Sunday, we will hear a parable about a landowner, a fig tree and a gardener. The landowner, seeing the fig tree has been unproductive since it was planted, wants to scrap the project and start over with something else, but the gardener sees the potential of the tree. It just needs a little more encouragement of the right variety, some cultivating and tending now. What is so special about now that the gardener wants to give this tree one more chance? Who are you in the story? Are you like the landowner: cut your losses and move on to another project? Are you waiting for the right conditions to bloom? Do you see the potential of someone else or of a project, and how can you encourage the idea or person to blossom where they are planted?

~Rev. Andrea Joy Holroyd

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