Fruitless Endeavors

Rhonda Rhea

I ALWAYS KEEP DRIED FRUIT IN MY DESK DRAWER SO I’LL HAVE A HEALTHY SNACK HANDY WHEN I’M WORKING. Except the fruits are so dry that all that’s left is these nacho cheesy Doritos.

Somehow it makes it an even sadder snack situation when I reach for my fruit and all I find in the bottom of the Dorito bag is a bunch of orange powder. I hate that. Some people would suggest that whenever that happens, I would do well to take the hint and go get an apple. Those are the people who just don’t get me at all.

Then there are others who say the nacho powder is the best part. They’re closer to getting me than the apple group. Still, they would no doubt think it wasteful of me if they saw me throwing away a perfectly good bag of Dorito dust.

I’m sorry, but once I find anything in my snack stash in ash form, I toss it. Definitely time for a new bag of Dor-fruit-os. Holding on to the bag when its contents are practically an aerosol just doesn’t work for me. Spray-on Doritos? No, I say give the bag a decent burial and let it go. Stashes to ashes, dust to Doritos.

Sort of relatedly, our walk with Christ can be either wonderfully encouraged or it can be sadly thwarted by what we choose to hang on to. And what we don’t. Hang on to wealth or material things, success or power, popularity or fame, comfort or entertainment—or a gazillion other things that promise to satisfy but don’t deliver—and there’s going to be a disappointment. If we hang on to pride or unforgiveness or any other sin, we inevitably find there’s not only disappointment but devastation. And we usually also find that as we hang on to those sins, they also begin to hang on to us. It’s scary and amazing how easily sin can get a hold of you, isn’t it?

Even hanging on to good things can sidetrack our lives in a fruitless direction. Jesus said,

“If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it,” (Matthew 16:25, NLT).

Holding onto anything in this life is letting go of too much of Jesus. That leads to a dead-end life with no fruit. None. Not even the dried-up fruit of the Dorito variety.

So much of the victorious life in Christ is about knowing when to let go and when to hold on. We’re told in Deuteronomy 13:4,

“Follow the Lord your God and fear Him. Keep His Laws, and listen to His voice. Work for Him, and hold on to Him” (NLV).

As we hold on to Him and passionately embrace all He calls us to be and to do, life becomes exactly what it’s meant to be. It becomes sweet. It becomes dear. So you could rightly say that holding on to the Father is key to living out a fruitful life.

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