Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
On the church path on Sunday morning lay a small underdeveloped horse chestnut fruit that had fallen from a nearby tree. There are a number of old established trees along the path but normally they do not shed their fruit until autumn. However, the recent long hot dry spell has made it more difficult for even their deep roots to find sufficient water to sustain themselves. Thus they shed some weaker fruit to conserve energy for the remaining fruit to grow to their full potential.
But that fallen horse chestnut reminded me of St Paul’s advice in his letter to the young church at Galatia when he said: The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Galatians 5:22–23.
So, just as the fallen fruit of the chestnut will feed the birds and animals, we are to use those fruits of the Holy Spirit that St Paul describes; they dwell in each and every one of us. We are called to act in such a way as will bring love joy and peace, not only to our own lives but to all those we meet. That way by our lives and actions all will see God in us. Hopefully we will inspire others to act and live in the same way, making the world a much better place in which everyone can live together in harmony.
The chestnut tree is a gift of God which will grow in every season, producing its fruit at the appointed time, so will the gifts of the Spirit grow in us. Let us then use those gifts to the best of our ability; to try to ensure that everything we do, we do for God.
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years