I have been learning to prune grape vines. The simple part is to cut off branches that are not producing and allow space between branches. The hard part is this time of year there are grapes on the vine and some of those need to be pruned as well. It takes years for the vines to grow and produce grapes. The last thing in the world you want to do is trim vines that have clusters of grapes on them. But you have to. Pruning makes the remaining vines stronger and the remaining grapes more flavorful by putting more energy into the remaining grapes. Eventually the wine made from those grapes will (hypothetically) taste that much better. (IF you can manage to make some decent wine from the grapes.)

While I’ve been outside pruning in the vineyard, I’ve had plenty of time to think. I’ve thought about what the Bible says about pruning:

Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.” John 15:2

I decided I needed to take a lesson in life from this pruning process as well.

So I’ve begun to prune things from my life. Unnecessary clothing, furniture and clutter in my house. Getting rid of books that I know I will never read again or simply were not good. I’ve realized I’m never going to use two sets of dishes. I’m keeping what I really love and letting the rest go. It’s been a satisfying process.

I’m pruning at work as well. Not only am I streamlining the office and processes, I’m saying no to things that I don’t have a passion for. I’m delegating more and working on my business more. I’m working with customers I enjoy and on projects that excite me. My work is better and my customers are happier. I’ve found a lot more satisfaction and fulfillment at work.

Sometimes there are people in your life that need to be pruned too. A really good friendship takes a lot of time. With the hours I work, I don’t have a lot of time. The people I do spend time with are very important to me. They are people I love, trust and enjoy. By spending time with those special people, my life has been so much more rich and full. I’ve learned about them and love them more. I’ve had time to organize a special birthday party for a good friend. I’ve had time to call my mom and brother more frequently.

I’ve been able to learn to prune grapevines and thoughtfully apply that pruning lesson to the rest of my life as well. Having quiet time to think in a beautiful place has been a wonderful gift. Will pruning your life make it more fruitful too?

©2015 S J Poole