Lesson from my mango tree.
I planted a mango tree 3 years ago.
Last year it fruited and after several months, most of the branches were heavy with fruits. Every week the mangoes grew bigger and bigger. I couldn’t wait to eat them.
After some period of time, two started to show signs of ripening. At this point I was checking every day. As soon as I saw that, I picked them and kept them in a cool dry place. I didn’t want a thief to have the honor of eating my first fruit. I knew it will take a few days for them to turn ripe fully and then my sharp knife will be slicing through the firm, yellow, succulent flesh. I grew up in a home with many mango trees so there was no mistake about the time I picked them. They were mature and it was the right time.
Those two mangoes were actually in the house close to two weeks with no change in their ‘countenance.’ They remained green, (with the little splotch of yellow that had convinced me to pick them) a virtue I’d love to possess but not desirable when it comes to fruits. Soon after they started to wilt and I had to get rid of them.
I then decided to leave the rest on the tree until they were ripe enough to pick. The issue of thieves did not bother me because the fruits were so many and I didn’t mind sharing.
Once again, several started to show signs of ripening. By this time my appetite for a mango from my tree was heightening. What puzzled me a little was that they were taking so long at that stage. ‘It could be the type’, I thought to myself. ‘You can expect anything from these hybrid things.’
Patiently I waited.
One week, then the next. I got to a point I decided I won’t be checking every day. I singled out a particular bunch to monitor. Progress extremely slow but evident.
Then, one morning I found the ones I was eyeing on the ground. All had split open and were rotten. I was disappointed.
Well, no big deal. Any good farmer has to factor in a few losses.
‘They must have split open because of the impact on hitting the ground and once the flesh is exposed putrefying is the next logical step’, I reasoned and, anyway I still had so many more on the tree.
The next day I found several more on the ground. The ones I had identified the previous evening and had planned to pick that morning. These too had started turning yellow when ‘I set them apart’ but they were on the ground split open and rotting. I got a little angry because I was looking forward to enjoying the fruit of my labor.
Once again I shrugged my shoulders and identified another lot. Third day, same story!
Alarmed, I checked the other fruits and to my dismay I made a sobering discovery. Not only were they rotten they burst while on the tree. My mangoes were rotting just as they started to become ripe. The splitting also didn’t have anything to do with hitting the ground.
Thinking back now, l can’t understand how I didn’t wonder why the rotting was advanced considering the fact that they had fallen in the previous night. If it was true they were splitting open because of hitting the ground the exposed flesh wouldn’t have decomposed. It would still be fresh. In fact a part of a mango can be eaten by bats, birds and insects but the remaining fruit doesn’t rot until several days later. And they would rot not because they’ve been opened up but the natural cycle of the fruit. And then not all the fruits burst when they hit the ground. Mangoes have a resilient skin. In fact I have seen mangoes rot but the skin remains whole and intact.
Disappointed, I consulted the friend from whom I got the seedlings. She said the fruits were infested by some worms at the flowering stage. The worms stay within the fruit from that point then start eating them once they mature and just before the mangoes get ripe. They were the reason the fruits were rotting on the tree and splitting.
Ok. Thanks for that revelation but what frustrated me also, was that there was no sign of infestation through — out the maturing process till just before they were ripe enough to be picked. Hmmm!
This tree opened my eyes to our spiritual lives. Many times we sow different seeds then sit back and wait for the harvest. The reasoning being we planted the right tree or the correct seeds. The best quality we could lay our hands on. That was my attitude because I got the seedlings from a reputable distributor.
What I didn’t know was though I planted the tree, I’m not the only one interested in the fruit or harvest. Apart from the usual petty mango thieves there are other parties that have an interest and will do whatever they can to deny me what rightfully belongs to me. The most destructive ones are hardly perceptible and can only be seen by one who is taking keen interest in what is happening on the tree. A petty thief may steal physical belongings or money but those pests steal things that are of more worth. They spoil character which in turn will mar one’s reputation and testimony. A good name is far more worth than rubies.
Matthew 13:24–25 records an interesting incident. A man sowed good seed in his field but while he slept his enemy came sowed weeds among the wheat and left. When the plants sprouted and produced grain, then the weeds also appeared.
Key point; the weeds were sowed just after the wheat but they appeared at the point when the wheat had produced grain. When the farmer should have been preparing his barns to store the harvest, then.. Bam!!! The tares manifest. Before that, they were undetected.
As Christians we should know that we are not the only farmers over our destiny. The devil is also interested in the fruit or harvest of our destiny. He will sneak in small undesirable habits that will grow with our fruits undetected. This habits ruin the whole harvest.
One of the devil’s weapons is ignorance. The root of the word ignorance is ignore. The dictionary defines ‘ignore’ as ‘to refuse to take notice of or acknowledge, disregard intentionally. The devil knows many of us have no drive to seek for information. Especially important information! hmmm.. come to think of it; we have this uncanny way of sniffling out unnecessary information about other people and irrelevant stuff. (I think if we used the same zeal to seek the lord this world will be a better place)Unfortunately the end result of ignorance is not bliss as some people would have us confess and believe.
Ignorance is the road to perishing.(Perish; die, especially in a violent or sudden way) How many times have our dreams died suddenly because we didn’t have the information about a business deal? What about the job placement? And college or university? In the case of my mango tree, I ‘ignorantly’ assumed that as long the seedlings were of great quality I was assured of a mighty harvest. How wrong I was!
After my friend had opened my eyes to the cause of my problem she gave me the following advice; Spray the tree at the flowering stage. Then keep monitoring in case the pests re appear. If they do, spray again. You have to diligently watch out for infestation. Watch the fruit when it is still forming because it will be too late at the harvesting stage. Something can be done at the point of flowering but nothing can be done at the time of harvest.