Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Maturing on Tuesday

Charity recently shared that she goes to a farmer's market where they arrange tomatoes by maturity date. She bought a Tuesday tomato, because it was promised to be mature by that day— just the day she'd be needing it.

I marvel that farmers sell their produce this way. I also wonder what it would be like to know when a person might "be mature." Am I mature yet? How will I know when I am? And, most of all, will I be mature for the Tuesday that someone (or even me) needs me to be?

Photo by Stefani M. Rossi Used with permission.


Blogger bluemountainmama said...

i've never heard of that. us country folks just grab one out of the garden when we need it..... :)
but interesting thoughts on maturity......are we ever really fully mature? i tend to think not.... i think Fate sends us things when we are ready or sends us things to make us ready and take us to that next level of "maturity".....but it seems to be a constant journey. we're all still vine-ripening!

10:24 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

I agree with Bluemountainmama, we are all still vine-ripening. God's word says we are not fully mature until reaching heaven. So, in the meantime, I'll keep striving with His help!

8:12 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

That is really neat. I had no idea they did that. I loved your thoughts on comparing our maturity to theirs.. I wonder sometimes about mine :)

8:25 AM  
Blogger Shannon Cobb said...

Great post. I long for maturity that seems to never get here. I have to put my hope in God getting me closer because I haven't done a great job on my own.

10:04 AM  
Blogger Linea said...

I too am still hanging on the vine - ripening to maturity I hope.

I really liked that analogy.

And at the farmers market - wonder what they would do if their predictions were off. They have no control over the amount of sun or the temperature that little tomato is being stored in.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Craver VII said...

Oh, I didn’t really have anything to contribute right now, I just thought I’d poke around and see what kind of responses other people gave. Hey, did anyone bring snacks today?

11:56 AM  
Blogger Christianne said...

And I agree with Andrea that we are never fully mature until we behold His face.

Wow, I loved this analogy too, Laura. I felt completely paralyzed after reading it and even had to read it out loud to Kirk so he could marvel at it too.

"Will I be mature on the Tuesday when someone (or me) needs me to be?" Wow.

I do believe that He makes us so. He is just that way. Thankfully, so is His timing.

12:11 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

blue... but is there a point where we are at least mature in some meaningful sense of the word?

Andrea... and yet, earth has its needs for us to act maturely, yes?

Stephanie... count me as a partner in wondering (not about you, about me)!

Shannon... what do you think maturity looks like. What is it you think you need that you don't have?

Linea... good point. I'm thinking they don't include a temp-controlled greenhouse in the price of the tomato!

Craver... snacks? Did someone say snacks? Always. Especially ones with peanut butter.

Christianne... I'm glad this touched you so deeply. I wonder if we actually meet situations that we're not mature enough for, and find, then, ourselves in a humble place. Nothing like a trip to humble land to start ripening those green spots.

12:34 PM  
Blogger Martin Stickland said...

I am not sure that I will ever grow up to be mature!

Love the old man photo.

I saw a lovely animated movie the other day about a man walking in some baron mountains with old derelict villages. Many years ago all the trees had been removed for charcoal burning and the walker could not find any water to drink because all the streams had run dry. Finally the walker came across a Sheppard who offered him water and a bed for the night at his cottage.

That evening the walker sat at the Sheppard’s table and watched as he carefully sorted a pile of acorns into good and bad ones until he had a 100 good ones.

The next day the walker followed the Sheppard from a distance and noted that he was planting the acorns in the baron landscape. The Sheppard told him that he planted a 100 acorns per day.

Every year the walker visited the old Sheppard who lived alone in the hills and through both world wars the Sheppard still planted acorns as well as small beech tree saplings etc. Nobody knew about the old man and his task and the walker kept it a secret.

One day a man from the forestry commission came and wondered at the forest up in the hills that had appeared by magic and when news spread the government declared the spot a nature reserve.

Water started to run in the hills again, animals and birds flourished there and people started to renovate and move back into the derelict Villages.

The old Shepard had asked for nothing in return but had completed a task worthy of God

I think you can get the film on the web but I have found the story in PDF format that you can view:

Sorry about the log post!

12:55 PM  
Blogger For now... said...

"And, most of all, will I be mature for the Tuesday that someone (or even me) needs me to be?" - this is the maturity that I hope and pray I have when/if that moment arises. I would hate to miss a "Tuesday" because I wasn't working at becoming more mature. I will never be "mature" until I meet my Maker and hear the words we long to hear one day - well done good and faithful servant. Becoming more mature in Christ is a lifelong process. Thank you for this thoughtful post.

1:01 PM  
Blogger Ex-Shammickite said...

I still wonder what I'll be "when I grow up", and really, I never want to grow up, because I might turn into someone I don't want to be!

1:21 PM  
Blogger Ex-Shammickite said...

Craver: here's a nice ripe tomato...

1:23 PM  
Blogger Craver VII said...

No-no-no Sham—Don’t! (Splat!!) Thanks a lot. (Drip, drip.)

You won't turn into someone you don't want to be.

I heard a story about a honeymoon. There was a widower who had a little daughter. One day, as she watched her daddy shave, they talked about his upcoming wedding. The idea of having a new mommy was fine, but she couldn’t understand why she couldn’t stay with them during the honeymoon. Daddy said it’s a special time just for the two of them. She said that when she grows up and gets married, she’s going to take her best friend Janie on their honeymoon. Daddy suggested that when the time comes, she would probably change her mind. “Well then Daddy, I don’t ever want to get married.” (laughing) Bless her little heart! I’m sure she’s sincere today, but Daddy’s probably right.

What I’m trying to say is that spiritual maturity is like a honeymoon, and if the Lord takes us there, we wouldn’t want to trade it for anything else in the world! Nothing like physical maturity, which leaves aches and pains and… character.

2:34 PM  
Blogger eph2810 said...

I love your thought process :) Are we going to be mature this side of heaven? I don't think that I will ever be...There are always new things to learn...
Blessings on your day and always...

BTW - I love farmers markets - too bad though they don't have them out here in AZ...

2:48 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

I'm still a green tomato.
Dip me in eggs, drag me through some breading and fry me up!

3:20 PM  
Blogger Mark Goodyear said...

Here's my question. Is there a difference between maturity and wisdom? In some places the bible talks about when we are perfected or completed or mature. (Depending on the translation.)

In the sense of completion, none of us are mature until we're dead.

In the sense of making wiser decisions and engaging in the world around us with responsibility--well, that's a kind of maturity that we should covet.

As for peanut butter snacks, I am reminded of the time I served peanut butter to my host family in Germany. They don't have peanut butter there. After seeing the faces they made when they tried the peanut butter, I began to understand that maybe it is an acquired taste . . . for mature palates.

3:59 PM  
Blogger Ted Gossard said...

L.L., Wow. Good post, picture, and fun and good comments here (as usual)!

I'm glad to finally be just who I am in the Lord, now. In years past, many things came in and kind of choked out God's seed in my life. Not entirely, but too much. Now by God's grace that is not nearly so bad.

Of course that, being, as well stated here, is dynamic and ever growing. Even when we're old, as the psalmist says, still fresh and green, and bearing fruit! (Psalm 92)

5:10 PM  
Blogger Charity Singleton said...

Here's an update: the farmer had it smack on. The tomato was perfectly ripe on Tuesday. Maybe this is the rest of the story. We don't know when we'll be ripe, but our Farmer does. The watering and pruning and weeding and picking are all part of his plan to have us "ripe" on just the right Tuesday.

5:22 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Martin... I really like your story. Sometimes it is good just to live, doing all the things we know God would love for us to do, not worrying to much about the end fruit (planting seeds more often than not brings growth, then fruit, as your story illustrates!).

for now... I think you bring out an important point. We have some work to do in the maturing process.

ExS... I wonder if growing up means maturity. What do you think? (Hey there, no tomato throwing on Seedlings! Unless, of course, it's that Italian festival day where they throw all their ripe tomatoes at each other!)

Craver... so, maturing is like going on a honeymoon? This would be a good observation to make in pre-marital counseling, yes?

Eph... no farmer's markets in AZ? Why is that? (Does no one eat agave syrup? I'm sure it's grown locally)

Erin... no way. I'll not be the one to eclipse your chance to mature!

Mark... perhaps maturity entails a measure of wisdom. I don't think the two are necessarily exclusive.

Ted... good to hear from someone who feels at peace... maybe not "arrived," but not the same as he used to be.

Charity.... wow. That is great! Here's a good question... is God the Farmer the same as your farmer's market farmer? Does he "mature" us without our consent... or do we have a part to play?

6:39 PM  
Blogger Christianne said...

The thing is, if we worry so much about whether we're being "good" or "right" enough in the situation when it happens -- whether we're mature enough to handle it rightly when it happens -- then there's no room for God to show up and show off. Because it's all about what He does THROUGH us and INTO other people each and every time anyway.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Inihtar said...

I think my level of maturity is sort of like the tide--ebbs and flows. I don't always mind that--remaining childlike in some ways is a good thing (though not always). But unfortunately, my spiritual maturity also has ups and downs. . . and that's where I hope I will grow and mature more--and remain consistent.

10:16 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Ted and Charity, thank you. Your reminder of being just who I am and letting God mature me was like a very deep breath of fresh air.

But, LL, I'm with you, sometimes I wonder if I'm cooperating or resisting His efforts.

12:25 AM  
Blogger Lloyd Irving Bradbury said...

when one is old you are mature
you sre old five minutes befor you die

11:18 AM  

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