Daily Devotional LifeJourney Church (MCC)

Wild Grapes vs Spiritual Fruit

February 13, 2012 • Category: Variety Week

Today’s scripture: Isaiah 5:1-4, Romans 8:3-8 (NRSV) (The Message) (KJV) What might God be saying to me?

My thoughts (John Seksay):

How often we set out on a course of action with the best of intentions! We think we have the insight and skill to make our lives flourish. I can succeed at this career; I can make this relationship work; my plan is foolproof and the goal is within reach!

When I was finishing high school, I was clueless about my purpose in life. My parents always emphasized that I was supposed to go to college, so I would. My grades were quite good — more to stay out of trouble at home than from any aspiration or calling. I just wanted to get away from home! I had the grades, but no real plan. Scrambling at the last minute, one of my teachers assisted me in getting a scholarship grant for $200. Wow. That might cover the first semester’s books.

My mother suggested that I look into medical training programs. She had become a dietary supervisor in a hospital and said there were work opportunities there. Wonder of wonders, the hospital near us offered a program in X-Ray Technology lasting 2 years. The cost: $200 in tuition up front. So, a month after graduation I embarked on a two-year journey into learning a skill to earn money for college, while living at home. At the end of the two years I was able to graduate and pass the licensure tests. I would alternate working to earn some funds and attending a college that offered the best scholarship support!

But then an odd thing happened: I quit school to work in 1970, having completed two years of schooling over a three-year period. I still wasn’t sure what I “wanted to be.” I was declared draft-eligible and went into the Marine Corps Reserve. I found work at home in X-Ray that would allow me to be self-supporting. I could return to school once this war calmed down.

Then an odder thing happened: I realized that in my pursuit of college funding, I already had a working career in the medical field! I never did go back to college to finish the degree. I got married instead (a whole ‘nother story!)  and worked in my chosen career path and found ways to move forward with self-study and on-the-job training.

Then the oddest thing happened: I transitioned over to ultrasound, a diagnostic skill that I enjoyed far more than conventional x-ray. As I expanded my skills in this area, I eventually crossed over to the commercial side, traveling about the country training others on the use of their equipment. I even visited Canada and Europe during these years! I wasn’t the confused kid who had no sense of purpose any more. Had you told that geeky high-school introvert that he would be traveling the world and hobnobbing with luminary educators in medicine, he would have said you were crazy!

I gained some perspective on this path when I took the SoulShift classes at church. In doing my spiritual inventory, I saw that I had several strong gifts. Among them were qualities, like teaching, that naturally supported the work I was eventually doing! The more my activities centered on these spiritual gifts, the better my life became!

I had spent quite some time wandering around trying to follow the rules of worldly success and made wasteful mistakes on the way. Spiritually, I was farming my life for the wrong crops. I needed to become God’s garden, bearing the fruit God set within.

Thought for the day: What am I sowing in my life today? Do I know what my spiritual seeds are?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.

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