Of fig trees and teenagers

Luke 13:6-9

And He told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.  And he said to the vine-dresser, ‘Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none.  Cut it down.  Why should it use up the ground?’  And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure.  Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’” (ESV)

Yep, that be what I’m thinking.  ‘Cept, I’m thinking about The Resident Teenager, aka Herself.  Yes, we have entered a new phase, that of “I’m the Princess, and you’re the….”  Well ‘manure’ comes to mind.

As usual, good words from the Good Book; dunno if Jesus intended this Parable of the Barren Fig Tree for teenagers; but, if the shoe fits.  So, is the message to have patience?  Or, hope?  Or, lots of fertilizer?  I’m running out of hair on my head to pull out, and since we don’t have a dog, I can’t kick that (‘course the puppy mill next door has about a dozen football dogs that I’d love to use to work on my kicking game).

‘Patience’, to me is just to hunker down, because this, too, shall pass.  No hope for change, none for improvement, progress, relief.  A synonym for ‘endure’.  A Via Dolorosa without the Golgoltha.

‘Hope’?  Why, yes, I do believe in miracles, but it is a poor strategy to depend on them.  True enough that most teenagers grow out of their behaviors (I know I have – or choose to believe I have – and I was one of the most incorrigible teenagers ever).  So, am I merely waiting for the calendar to take this problem off of my hands?  This is just a time thing, or am I waiting for Divine Intervention?  For my part, I pray every day; but I’m starting to feel like Billy Graham on a golf course (“God answers all my prayers, except the ones I make on a golf course.”)

Finally, there is more fertilizer.  Very active approach.  And, I think, self-defeating.  When I was 18 and knew everything, and everybody else hadn’t seen the football since the kickoff, at least I was burning with ambition and enjoyed hard work.  Looking back, I was certainly ballistic in those days (no straight line between then and now), but at least I was moving.  Never satisfied with the status quo, I sprinted to see what was on the top of the next hill.  Yeah, adventure and travel – good stuff.  But, my quest was to prove I was as good as anybody else.  I was not the red-haired step child from the country; or, if I was, at least I was going to pull myself up by my own bootstraps.  Unfortunately, those were also the days of “todai moto kurashi” (pardon my Nihongo) and I missed a lot of daisies.

Since I have lost my sense of humor I guess I am left with patience.  Not a problem staying out of her way – she comes and goes without so much as have an apple or kiss my foot; but I am counting the days until she is scheduled to throw her mortar board in the air (94).  Definitely done throwing money at the problem.

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