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By Lois Parker Edstrom
Objects suggested: Figs, if they are available in your area. A package of Fig Newtons. Share figs or cookies with the children, if appropriate to the situation.
Pictures of a fig tree and figs
Many of us who live in northern parts of the world have never seen a fig growing on a fig tree. The closest we get to figs is when we buy a package of Fig Newtons, those unique fig-filled cookies.
Figs are a fruit that contain vitamins and minerals that are good for you. In other words, they are a healthy food. They are also very tasty and sweet. In earlier times Olympic athletes ate figs as a way to get into good physical shape for the races and games that would follow.
In many countries figs are considered to be sacred and the Bible refers to figs more than any other fruit.
Jesus told a story about a man who planted a fig tree. “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it, and found none” (13:6). He said to the vine dresser,‘Behold, these three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and found none. Cut it down. Why does it waste the soil?'” (13:7).
The man’s gardener asked that he be allowed to care for the tree for one more year. He thought if he watered and fertilized the tree it would produce fruit. We don’t know the end of the story – whether the tree produced figs or not, but there is a lesson in this story.
If you planted a fig tree wouldn’t you expect it to grow figs? You wouldn’t expect it to grow oranges or apples or cherries. The purpose of a fig tree is to grow figs.
We also have a purpose – each one of us. We have been given life by God – we need to use our lives to produce something of value. We need to make our lives count.
First and foremost we are to love God. God’s love helps us grow. As we grow in His love we find what it is we are meant to do. It may be different for each one of us, but you will know when you find your purpose. It will be something you love to do and it will, in some way, benefit others.
A fig tree grows sweet figs. Find your sweetness!
Scripture quotations from the World English Bible
Copyright 2010, Richard Niell Donovan