I grew up in Virginia and every Sunday driving to church we passed tobacco fields. I thought everyone grew tobacco, until we moved farther north. Now on the way to church, we pass corn fields. Every summer, we went to a beach in North Carolina, and every summer I fell asleep on the drive. When I woke up, I knew we were close when the tobacco had given way to cotton and soy beans. At the beach, my granddad always prepared a fish fry with seafood that he bought from a local fisherman. When I moved back to Maryland 8 years ago, for the first time I had a real Maryland crab cake.
Now I’m in Honduras. There are mango groves, coffee plantations, and fields of bananas, plantains, and passion fruit. Fruits that I have never seen before, juices I have never heard of, and flavors to which I am unaccustomed fill the dinner table. The crops that are grown, and the subsequent meals that are prepared, truly represent the region of the world that I am in.
If I have learned one thing from all my travels it is this: The fruit that is grown is indicative of the region in which we are in.
Shouldn’t that be what our lives are like? We are living in Christ. Those things, the things of Christ, should define us. It should be obvious that the things of this world are no longer growing in us. We shouldn’t cultivate anger, jealousy, slander, malice, sexual promiscuity-sin. But rather, we should let the fruit of the Spirit take over our lives. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.
We had to memorize a passage of scripture for the trip, and out of the 17 verses, 5 words have resonated within my soul. “…Christ, who is your life…” Christ is our life. He is the life blood that is running through our veins. And just as the water that runs underground makes the growth of all crops possible, Christ is what is needed to cultivate the only fruit that truly matters.
In North Carolina, I see cotton. Here in Honduras, I see mango. If we truly are living in Jesus, and if He is our life as Paul told us in Colossians, then in Christians, the world should see Christ.