August 27, 2018

Blueberry Picking Styles

Devotion for the Week...

If you want to make my day in August, call me early in the morning and invite me to go blueberry picking. That's exactly what happened one day last week and I spent a fabulous few hours out picking (and taste testing!) berries. While we were picking, we talked about how different people approach picking berries differently.

Bonnie says she roams around a lot because she always wants to find the biggest berries and she doesn't have much patience for picking the small ones. She said that when she was little and would go picking with her aunt, her aunt would sit in one spot and pick every berry on whatever bush was in front of her, regardless of size, before moving on to another bush.

I tend to pick in one spot for a while, then roam around until I find another good spot, then sit there and pick for a while. I don't pick every berry on the bush before moving on, but I don't only pick the biggest ones, either.

Gord picks slowly, but cleanly. No unripe berries or leaves mixed in with the good ones, whereas Bonnie picks faster, but dirtier. She has to sort through her berries when they get home.

Nathan picked some, ate some, picked some more, ate some more. He kept looking into my bucket and saying, "I don't have as many as you." Hardly surprising since I think he ate more than made their way into his bucket, lol.

My father-in-law goes out for hours and hours and hours at a time, leaving early in the morning and getting back around suppertime or even later. Other people get tired of it after only a couple of hours.

Blueberry picking style really doesn't matter in the end, though. There's no right or wrong way to pick berries. We're all just out there to get some yummy blueberries to take home.

Strangely enough, this musing about how differently we approach picking berries had me thinking about unity in the church. Before His crucifixion, Jesus prayed, "I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me" (John 17:20,21).

He prayed for our unity, but unfortunately many over the years have confused unity with uniformity.

Unity means "being united or joined as a whole" while uniformity means "the quality or state of being uniform." Can you see the difference?

Unity is being part of something bigger than just you. The church or a group of blueberry pickers, for example.

Uniformity is being the same as everyone else. There's no individuality, no personality, no difference in style. If you don't do things the same way as everyone else, then you're either not doing it right or you're not part of the group at all.

The problem is, God never intended us to be uniform. Just look at us! He designed every one of us, from our appearance to our personality to our talents and even to our blueberry picking style. Psalm 139:14 says, "Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it."

If He designed each one of us to be so very different in so many ways, then why would He then expect His church to be all the same? And if we don't even pick berries the same way, how could we ever dress the same, talk the same and worship the same?
Weekly devotions on Christian living |
The church exists to help others learn about God and to help believers learn and grow to be more like Jesus. We're all part of the church together for that purpose, just as the group of us were all out in the woods together for the purpose of picking berries. But in the church, under the umbrella of that purpose, there's plenty of room for our different styles.

FYI, this isn't my first devotion inspired by how we pick blueberries . You can also check out Blueberry Picking.

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