Lessons from a Nut
“Legend has it that lovers met beneath the trees to hear the pistachios crack open on moonlit nights for the promise of good fortune. A rare delicacy, pistachios were a favorite of the Queen of Sheba, who demanded all her land’s production for herself and her court. The royal nut was imported by American traders in the 1880s, primarily for U.S. citizens of Middle Eastern origin.” – California Pistachio Commission
I love to eat pistachios. The lightly salted shells with their distinctive clam-like openings protect a tasty crunch waiting inside. I can eat a bowl full of them as fast as a squirrel monkey that’s run out of insects and berries. For Father’s Day I even received a big ten pound bag of them to fill my craving. While digging around on the web for information about the pistachio I found this interesting tidbit –
“The pistachio is a broad, bushy, deciduous tree which grows slowly to a height and spread of 25 to 30 feet, with one or several trunks.”
I love that word ‘deh-sid-jew-us‘; it has that PBS/NOVA sound to it, doesn’t it? It makes me feel as though I actually did pay attention in those biology lectures when I pronounce it. In fact, saying it is almost as fun as ‘in-doo-buh-tuh-blee‘, but, I digress.
Now I bring this tale of the tasty nut to you not to just wax on about fun-to-say words and romantic legends, but, instead, I wanted to share with you an interesting life lesson that occurs every time I bust through one of those pistachio bags. You ever notice how not all of those shells are half-opened? Some of them are sealed shut and hard to get into and in my eating frenzy I don’t always take the time to break into the difficult ones. Instead, I just toss them back into the bag as I eat. However, this sidestepping technique causes a problem.
Sooner or later the bag ratio shifts from ‘mostly open’ to ‘none are open’ and I am left with nothing but a bag of very hard, closed, and difficult-to-deal-with nuts. It is at that moment that I have a choice – I can either take the time to break through the stubborn shells and enjoy the reward that awaits my labor, or, I can simply take the bag of rejects and toss them out. And then it happens. I realize that had I simply dealt with each difficult nut on a case by case basis rather than avoiding them and exercised patience, I would not be staring at a multitude of challenges right now. Isn’t this what Christ expects of us who claim His name? The great apostle Paul exhorts us with this principle in Ephesians, chapter three when he implores us to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which we have been called and to do so with all humility and gentleness. We must be patient towards one another, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. So, how is your bag today?
Oh, that we would learn from the pistachio.