A couple of years ago I bought two Carolina Jasmines from a high quality nursery. They were equals in size and vitality. I planted them in identical fashion with no variation, and no kidding, they were planted exactly the same, even the large pots were the same.
I chose the Carolina due to its hearty reputation. It’s impervious to summer heat, winter cold, and is easy to grow. They like containers and they seemed happy and well suited to their surroundings.
Such was my optimism.
Joyfully, one grew tall, full and prospered beyond expectations. It grows so rapidly that it demands pruning every few months. I could take a machete to it.
Sadly, its twin hasn’t done as well. It has toiled, struggled and failed. Well, its grown from where it started but compared to her sister she’s produced a shameful result.
No, not giving up, not yet. I have fed and fertilized. I have pruned and carefully snipped the dead vines. I’ve given extra care to make sure it’s neither under or over watered.
Is it making a comeback? I don’t know yet, but I’m hopeful.
The tale of two Jasmines has offered some insights:
- There was no guarantee that each would be as the other.
- Although identical when purchased, their appearances rapidly differed.
- I’ve been discouraged over the Jasmine that dared to be dull.
- I could have been grateful for the one that’s prospered, but I didn’t.
- It could be said that I’ve been a bit obsessed by the Jasmine plants.
Jesus taught that a good tree bears good fruit and a bad tree bears bad fruit. But he wasn’t really talking about trees, he was talking about hearts, about us.
He once cursed a Fig tree for looking healthy but on closer inspection discovered it was barren, producing no fruit at all. Isn’t the value of a Fig tree the fruit it produces?
The Prophet Jonah complained bitterly about the heat. So, the Lord provided him with a shade tree. But Jonah was bitter about other things too, like the Assyrians, whom he hoped would be annihilated. It seemed that he cared more for the tree than he did for the people. So, he lost his tree and its shade. Jonah was obsessed with two things: Assyrian annihilation and a tree. Of the two, the tree was most important.
- Are we irritated with God about the “failed Jasmine’s” in our lives?
- Do we think too much about how we look compared to someone else?
- Has bitterness seeped into our souls from the unfairness of it all?
- When we obsess over the superficial do we risk a barren, unfruitful heart?
- Is there risk for striving to look good on the outside but are ugly on the inside?
Isn’t the value of a good heart the good fruit it produces?
It’s The Tale of Two Jasmines