When a mesquite tree buds out in the spring you can rest assured there is no danger of a killing frost. At least that is what people who are supposed to know about such things tell me. I have wondered why mesquite trees are so smart. Where was my peach tree when this lesson was being taught?
Almost every other year my peach tree decides it will get the jump on all the other trees. It puts on a beautiful array of blossoms and is the object of a lot of oohs and aahs. It is something to behold a peach tree that has decided to wear its April foliage in December. Maybe such a contribution to the wintry landscape is worth the loss of a peach crop to a blue norther that gets its kicks out of putting smart-aleck trees in their place.
Peach trees are not alone in their desire to get going a little earlier than they should. Some of my own disappointments have been the results of an insatiable desire to achieve a difficult goal before the time was ripe.
The difference between success and failure often hinges on one’s willingness to be patient. Many human relationships are like that. If we do not give up in the long winters of seeming rejection, friendships often blossom. The psalmist knew about patience, too. Be still before the Lord, wait patiently for him … those who wait for the Lord shall possess the land. (Psalm 37.)
This reflection originally appeared in the Outlook on April 13, 1992.
MARTIN PIKE is a retired minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) living in Dallas, Texas.