~ The following story came forth upon awaking from a nap... during the early 90's. During that season of my life... I was going through a great pruning in my own life... (some would refer to as a Job experience or dark night of our soul and spiritual senses). It brought me great comfort and understanding... encouraging me to continue with a greater measure of peace and faith having been awakened deep within. I soon recognized one of the many ways God's Spirit speaks to me is through the inspired writing which come through me. ~
the wisest man I know. I have always believed this about him...and as he
has grown with age... my own eagerness to sit with him and listen have grown as
One of the
ways he makes conversation so interesting is his knack of comparing life to
experiences we can see and identify with through stories. He sincerely
believes our outward life reflects our inner life and if we pay close
attention... we can hear the voice of God gently speaking to us. Grampus's
passion is to point out the symbolic significance of just about everything that
happens, and I find this way of being to be absolutely fascinating. Grampus
calls it the way of the Spirit.
an occasion when I was a young adult and I was becoming bitter because I was
coming to the conclusion life just wasn't fair, and I was angry about it.
It seemed as though the bitterness found its outlet by manifesting itself with
persistent heartburn, which rose up and burned my throat.
would become unusually restrained when I would complain... and such
mannerisms told me a story was brooding deep within... waiting for its moment of
birth. I too waited with anticipation.
afternoon while I was complaining once again... Grampus began leading me on a
walk... towards his small vineyard.
know those grapevines of mine," he began. Grampus didn't wait for an
answer... he knew I respected him and he would have a captive audience. One of
the reasons he can capture my attention so thoroughly, is because he never
initiates conversations unless he believes he has something worth saying.
Most of the time he's the one listening and he goes unnoticed by those who do
not seek him out.
On that day
he said... "You know those grapevines of mine? They've given me a lot
of fruit over the years.... know why? Because the one aim of their existence is
to produce fruit. We could all learn a lot from nature if we were more
aware of the lessons they live out right in front of our eyes. If we were
attentive we'd be more teachable, but most folks aren't even awake or they
refuse to let anyone else turn on the light for them, simply because they want
to learn their own way... or flat out don't like to learn.... because they enjoy
the darkness, having gotten use to it."
sensing he was silently pleading with me to try to understand on a deeper level
still... so I listened more intently... having learned from experience there was
always something to be gained by one of our conversations.
bear fruit, my vines had to go under severe pruning and training." Already
knowing how he thinks metaphorically, I was sure he wasn't just referring to his
grapes, so I settled back on a nearby rustic bench to take in all he was going
know," he grinned, as he saw my attentiveness, "if I hadn't done my
job as the vine dresser, well.... they wouldn't have been so fruitful."
I can see
him now, pausing as if in deep thought. By then I had grown to know this
was his way of getting me to think about what he might really be saying to my
inner me, the most important part of me, he was fond of saying. He
had consciously brought me to the place where I was expected to ask a question,
if I had one, so he could make sure I was following his train of thought and
really thinking about what he was saying. If I was losing him, he'd gently
bring me back without the slightest bit of embarrassment, before he would
silent moments together were ones of deep pleasure, I eagerly listened when
after a few minutes he said, "I'm sure you remember the story about the
year I had to leave our farm for a while to take care of my brother Bill's
family. Their crisis took precedence over everything, and someone else had
to tend my young vines for me that season. I understand now, in hindsight, how
it was necessary for that to happen. Even though it was hard on your
Grammy and I and all concerned, a lot of good came out of Bill's
misfortune." he said, wiping his eye glasses clean before continuing...
pausing once more that I might be given the chance to reflect.
never ceases to amaze me how we are all so interconnected." he said in a
quiet tone, almost as an afterthought.... I knew by now... this was his way of
planting a seed for another crop of wisdom, he so freely offered those who
desired a future harvest.
wondering what he understood that I had yet to experience when I heard him say,
"One lesson I was to learn was what can happen when my vines are not tended
properly. See, if you don't tend to each branch, their own self directed
energies will drain them of the energy they would have used otherwise to produce
closer, his eyes fixed on mine, "I needed to severely prune back my vines,
much more than I was doing and Bill's family crisis... it turned out, would be
the perfect circumstance to teach me that lesson. Grams was keeping me abreast
as to what was happening while I was with them and I was positive I'd lost my
vines the way she described the severity of pruning that was taking place while
I was busy elsewhere. Events were forcing me to let go of my control over
my vines and to trust someone with more experience... and I didn't like it one
bit." he winked at me giving me a look only we understood, as he stopped
talking to tend one of his vines as if they were one of his children who had
just called for him. I waited eagerly for him to continue.
never forget the day Grams told me He's pinching off all the fruit on each
branch, but one cluster. One cluster!" he emphasized. Again he stopped
and waited for me to think, and respond as he continued to fuss over his much
mean," I remember asking, "he picked off bunch after bunch of unformed
grapes and wasted them?"
rewarded me with that wonderful smile and laugh of his and said, "That's
exactly what I thought. Yet, when I got back, I found I had a larger weight of
even sweeter grapes in that one bunch, than I would have had in all those little
bunches, had he left them on. You see child..."
I knew he'd
finally gotten to where he had been taking me. Now I was going to hear and
understand the wisdom he was attempting to impart in to my life... through his
story... founded on his belief that nothing happens by accident. Grampus
is absolutely sure there is a loving power that controls all circumstances for
our benefit and this is the perspective he experiences life through. Once
again, I waited patiently for him to continue while he took off his eyeglasses
and wiped the sweat off his brow.... a smile of satisfaction gleaming through
his gentle eyes.
I was with Bill's family," he finally continued, "I realized we were
each being trained and pruned by the hand of God Himself.... I could see.... if
we would just yield to the circumstances we found ourselves having, what might
be painful at the time would be fruitful later on. I understood deep
within, each of us were like branches that had been allowed to grow, but it was
obvious we were in sore need of tending after having already borne fruit in the
past... and we were being prepared for a new season in our lives by the
circumstance which was happening to us. It occurred to me we were fighting
growth.... we were fighting change. When anything threatened us,
we'd complain. None of us could see how anything good could come out of
this crisis. Our clusters were being pinched and we were responding with
depression and anger at times and bitterness was attempting to take root deep
within. I'm positive, if anyone took a bite of the fruit of our lives at
that moment, they'd taste nothing but a mess of bitter grapes. I for one
hate sour grapes... How about you darling?"
In hindsight, I recognize the spirit of my mind was influenced by inexperience and vain imaginations... especially when compared to the years of wisdom Grampus had absorbed.... yet, I knew, even then, there was far more to what He was saying than I was able to comprehend.... or even begin to understand deep within... as the taste of bitterness in my throat that had earlier consumed me began to disappear, never to return.
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