Triple Berry Blast

Brian Bauknight



Sounds like a new ice cream flavor from Baskin-Robbins or Ben&Jerry’s, right? 
Not quite.  The phrase describes the focus of a significant chunk of my activity on our small farm property right now. Blueberries, blackberries, and red raspberries are all coming ripe at the same time.  Late June is prime ripening season for all three!  Most early mornings and later evenings (too hot to pick at mid day!), I am out with bowls and other containers gathering the berries for Elaine to bag for the freezer. 
Of course, I reserve enough for a topping on my cereal each morning.  If the grandchildren help me, they mostly eat what they pick.  That’s OK.  Nutritional candy for them!
The bushes and vines are prolific this year--especially the blueberries. Sometimes, we invite visitors to grab a container and help themselves.  The supply seems almost endless for a short while.   I am reminded of Jesus’ parable about harvesting heads of grain—some tenfold, some fifty-fold, and some a hundred-fold.  The blueberries are in the final category. Each time I think we’ve picked an area clean; I lift a branch and find a whole new cluster of fruit.  Almost like the episode of the Loaves and Fishes in our Biblical narrative.  Multiplication more than addition!
But here’s the main point: Sometimes, one has to put aside other things on the schedule and do what is current, if only for the short term.  Sometimes, effective and fruitful leadership means focusing on the immediate need before us and letting other things go for a few days. (The birds on our property devoured the sour cherries on our lone tree before any of us could get to them.  Besides, I am not good on ladders these days.)
Each night, I pray that God will mold me and use me for what is most important the next day.  It may or may not be what is on my iPhone calendar.
In a few weeks, the berries will either be harvested or consumed by the birds.  Other tasks will stand ready for my attention.  I discovered long ago that this is the rhythm of the Christian life and of ministry. I don’t think I would be happy with life any other way.



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