This morning I had a neighbor and a friend come help me pick mangoes from my tree. This isn’t because I don’t have mangoes because seven or more fall from the tree every day! Instead picking gives you a much better quality of mango than letting them drop.
Most of the mangoes that drop from the tree end up being soft in places. This is because they drop and hit the ground from high up, and usually the mangoes that drop are already ripe. This softness takes away from the taste of the mango itself, and means it will spoil very quickly if your not careful.
The mangoes we picked today are still hard (not quite ripe). In most cases they will ripen within a day or two depending on the amount of sun and rain. Picking them early allows you also to eat them before they become too soft (this is commonly referred to as “half ripe”) which adds to the taste.
Our fruit picking adventure reminded me how important it is to harvest spiritual fruit at the right time. It is true that the Lord does a work in hearts through the conviction of the Holy Spirit. But there is a responsibility on our part to seek out those the Lord is working with, and bring them to Christ. In this way we are taking an active role in harvesting hearts just like my mangoes.
On the other hand it is possible to simply wait for the Lord to bring you individuals. God will bring fruit and transform lives, but lots of fruit will be “left on the tree” if we refuse to aggressively share Christ.
I’m thankful for my mangoes, and the reminder there’s a bountiful harvest for those who will do the work.