Pruning and being pruned

I’ve been busy pruning the trees in our yard. This is the first really close look I’ve had at them since we bought the house last summer, especially without the leaves. I’m not thrilled with what I’m seeing. It’s been years since they pruned, and when they did prune it’s as if they were reading the “how-to-guide” upside down. They seem to have done everything wrong. It’s the only explanation I can think of why some branches grow straight out from the tree and then suddenly take a right-angle turn to run crosswise of another branch.

I’ll be working with these trees for years to get this straightened out. I don’t want to do too much at one time, as we’d like to still get some fruit. I also don’t want to risk damaging the tree or leaving it open to disease by trimming too much at once. But some trees have been in such bad shape I’ve had little choice but to hack away much more than I would prefer to. The longer I wait the worse the mess becomes.

Life is a lot like that, too. To become the best we can be we need to be continually checking our growth and shaping ourselves. We have to watch out for habits creeping in that are running counter to what we want most. We have to be vigilant against trying to fit too much into our lives. We have to maintain balance so that not all our energy goes only in one direction.

If we don’t keep an eye on ourselves we can let things go until we reach the point we need to prune ourselves. If we’re fortunate we only have to prune a little. If we let it go too long, however, we may need a major hacking to get us back on course. It may even become so bad it will take years to correct the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into.

It’s so much better if we can check up on ourselves regularly so we only need to prune a little here and there. It’s much less painful that way, and we’ll bear fruit more regularly and plentifully. Take a little time soon to identify and clear out the dead wood in your life.

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