One-berry, Blue-berry, Three-berry!
I have this little game I play with blueberries.. First of all, I LOVE them, and I will eat an entire pint right in front of you. I've had blueberries from Jersey, blueberries from Michigan, blueberries from South Carolina - it matters not where they come from. I will eat them because I love them. I really hadn't a clue (as a kid) that they were extremely good for you. I knew I loved them as much if not more than candy, that's all I know. I'll never forget getting our little treasured pints of blueberries from Melitta's Farm Market on Virginia Avenue in Penns Grove, where I grew up. Such a sleepy little Jersey town in those days, but it surely would liven up when we'd take the trek to the farm market and fill the paper sacks with summer produce.
This game I play is: After washing the blueberries, and sorting through the few bad ones you might find, I start eating (in order of appearance) the very largest to the smallest berry in the bunch. It's a rewarding scavenger hunt for me, thumbing and pushing aside the smallest berries, til I find the biggest ones - FIRST! As this game continues, you can imagine that the biggest, boldest berries are usually the sweetest ones. So, as I continue to pick and sort and eat, they go from being very sweet to becoming more tart with every bite. Finally, like playing finger bowling, I eyeball the last ten or so, to see what blueberry will be the very last one. It's usually the tiniest of them all, just sitting there waiting to be "chosen".
Proverbs 25:27 from "The Message" says, "It's not smart to stuff yourself with sweets, nor is glory piled on glory good for you." Eventually, even as my little blueberry game unfolds - the "sweetness" only lasts a little while. There's only so many big, ripe juicy ones in the pint!
There is, of course, nothing sweeter than Jesus - His ways, His words, His life. In His teachings and earthly ministry, He new the power of persuasion and getting the attention of the crowd. (Like offering the biggest ripest blueberry of all!) It was usually after gaining their confidence - their ears - their eyes, that the strongest more pungent disciplinary words would come. (Uh oh, here come the tart berries!) Many followers were gratified and pleased at the tenderness of their Savior; His loving ways; His compassion. But many would fall by the wayside when Jesus instructed, corrected and challenged with "right to the point" tartness. The Savior has savor.
So one blueberry at a time, I now see how ALL of them fit the pallet of my life. Some sweet days...some very tart days. But I'm "berry" thankful for Psalm 34:8, "Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him."