I recently found myself in the birthplace of pretension.
No, not Hollywood.
I was in Napa, celebrating my wedding anniversary by touring vineyards on bicycle with the woman I love.
It proved to be an amazing trip. In the words of Ferris Bueller “If you have the means, I highly recommend it.”
Though I am not a wine connoisseur, I found it great fun to sample the different varietals at each vineyard and chat with the artisans about their craft.
Listening to the story of how wine is made, one thing surprised me.
Being naïve to the whole process and growing up around corn and soybeans, I figured farming is farming and the same general process applies to grapes. You fertilize the soil, plant your crop, pray for rain and moderate weather and nurse your crop with great care.
Turns out I’d make a crappy bottle of wine.
What makes a good grape for wine is stress. It seems that keeping a grapevine under a hot sun with little or no water and on the verge of death is the best way to ensure the grapes sweeten fully and meet their full potential.
In fact, when grape farmers plant a new vine, they get no fruit for at least the first three years, finally seeing fruit in year four, finally getting usable fruit in year six.
If you are a grapevine you have to put in your time. Only after years of growth and struggle does the vine finally deliver the best fruit.
You ever feel like a grape?
Destined to be the greatest bottle of wine ever made but doomed to cook in the sun for a few more years?
One of the biggest objections provided by atheists as proof there is no God is the existence of heartache and grief. If there were an omnipotent Being that created us, loves us and wants a relationship with us, why doesn’t He help us?
What kind of a sick Creator sits by and lets us suffer, allows misery, war and famine?
Maybe they are right, but maybe we are all just grapes.
Joseph from the bible was a grape. He was left for dead, sold into slavery, falsely accused, imprisoned. The guy spent 22 years of his life getting his ass handed to him regularly. And yet it all turned out for the larger good. He landed in a spot to save his family and keep the dream of a chosen people alive; all through hard work, perseverance and a positive, future-focused attitude.
Do I mean to say that victory awaits you, so put up with the crap of today for the dream of tomorrow?
And maybe that is easy to say if I don’t have a child with cancer, a decaying marriage, or a debilitating illness. But I still think it might be valid.
We aren’t privy to our larger story, or how we play into the story of others. So we have to step out and play our role as best we can. Just like an infant can’t understand why they have to go to the doctor for a vaccination, we similarly can’t see the big picture; we just know we keep getting poked.
Will your life produce meaningful fruit? It comes down to trust.
You may be destined to become a bottle of fine wine.
Do you trust your creator to take you there?