In Sunday’s Gospel from Luke, we hear the parable of the fig tree. A person planted a tree and came back each year for three years to find fruit, but found none. The man told the gardener that he was going to give up and cut down the tree, but the gardener asked him to leave it for another year, and that he would cultivate and fertilize the soil.
Have you ever poured your time, energy, and heart into something only to feel like it wasn’t successful due to lack of attendance or participation? It’s easy to want to give up and say, “why bother?” I know this feeling all too well. Most recently, I felt this way after our Advent Modern Worship night in December. I put in countless hours planning it, recruiting a great speaker, rehearsing, and marketing the event. When it came to the event night, I was disappointed at the lack of attendance when compared to my hope. Despite the event itself being an incredibly powerful and uplifting night that really fed my soul, I couldn’t help but feel discouraged. I walked away and thought, “this is the last year for this.”
However, this weekend’s gospel parable is a reminder not to give up in our meaningful endeavors, especially those that feed us and can have a positive impact on others. We just need to find more time to cultivate the ground around our ideas. Instead of giving up—regroup and try something a little different next time. I will if you will.