In sneakered feet my sister and I walked the soft and dusty path, a couple days ago, that ended in splashes of wild flowers and shoulder height bushes of ripe blueberries. We laid down our berry pails, rolled our sleeves and went to work picking berries. As we picked the succulent berries, the twigs and branches pricked my untrained forearms, but I knew the momentary irritations were going to be worth it. We each picked enough berries to bake a blueberry dessert, freeze some and still have plenty left over for breakfast.
Plump blueberries were free for the picking, and many were already missing, if you were a blue jay. Seed droppings marked the path and some were already sprouting.
What I don’t care for are the tiny seeds that always get stuck in the gaps between my teeth. The seeds are enough of an annoyance that some people forego blueberry treats. The seeds are a bother and must be picked out or flossed free, but the beautiful berries themselves cost nothing, if personally picked in the wild. But there is a price to pay, a thorn as it were, to enjoying this seasonal delight.
Isn’t this the way with most things in life? The sweetness of living comes with the cost of affliction. Trouble is part of the nature of this imperfect and beautiful world. Sometimes we wonder if life is worth the trouble. God gives us a prickly bush and fruit, and a sweet pie seeded with affliction. I pray He bless us with a balance of struggle and sweetness this weekend. And maybe go heavy on the sweetness. Amen