Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Tomato Plant "Problem"

We plant and nourish tomato plants with the hope and expectation that one day, the plant will begin to bear fruit. We look forward to eating them fresh, or canning salsa, or making delicious spaghetti sauce, but sometimes we are not prepared to harvest the fruit of our labors.

Before we know it, 1 plant can be overloaded with fruit, and if we have multiple plants, we find ourselves swimming in tomatos with no idea what to do with all of them. In some cases we allow the bugs to creep in and gnaw at our fruit, or we allow them to drop to the ground and rot. When we planted, we liked the idea of having tomatos, and we value the fruit, but we find ourselves unprepared to harvest our crop.

Sometimes our lives are like tomato plants. We begin a project, or two, or three, not knowing when we will see the fruit, but then, all at once, the fruit appears and we don't know how to manage it. We know we don't want to see the fruit we labored for, rot on the ground, or be destroyed by insects, but we don't feel we have the strength, or time, or patience, or ability to harvest all the fruit.

This summer, I have experienced the tomato plant "probelm".

Here's the rundown... 1-Last Fall, I accepted the assignment of serving as President of our local Optimist Club, scheduling activities and fund raisers that benefit the youth of the community. It's a wonderful activity, but the busiest time for the club is late spring/early summer. 2-For a couple of years my wife and I have been attempting to sell our home and acreage to buy a larger home with a smaller acreage. Finally, in Mid-June it was time to paint the new house and move in. 3-Also, I have been writing a couple of novels and as it turns out, in late spring it was time to re-edit and get my first book ready for Summer release. 4-In late spring I agreed to coach my son's baseball team and then a few weeks later 5-I was called to be a Bishop of the brand new Far West Ward. And now that we've been in our home for 2 weeks, 6-it is time to have family start arriving for visits throughout the summer.

Each of these tomatos is a blessing in my life, and individually are not difficult to manage, but I wasn't prepared to receive all of them at the same time. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, but I did feel overwhelmed and wondered how I would possibly find time to harvest all the fruit without it going bad.

What's the moral of this story? 1. Plan ahead and don't overcommit. 2. If you do find yourself with the tomato "problem", put your head down and get to work. The busy tomato season will end eventually, but in the mean time, its time to work hard, spend the time to make sure all commitments are met and the fruit is harvested. 3. Remember that each tomato is a blessing, not a "problem".

1 comment:

  1. I can sympathize with the 'bogged down' feeling of having too many things to do. I was listing all the things I needed to do in the next couple weeks to a friend, who told me I needed to learn the word "No." Ironically, this friend was asking me to take an entire half day to pick up her kids in another city and transport them to a third city to facilitate their return home. Of course I did it, for a friend...