Human-Driven Growth must Eventually Submit to Divine Law.
Yesterday, standing with my husband underneath an old tree dripping with apples, “I felt at once small — a single speck of sand in humanities evolving story — and yet inextricably connected to a magnificent, unfolding narrative larger than my one life.”
I started thinking about the family, many generations ago, who planted this apple tree. I thought about the generations of families who harvested from it.
I thought about the Talmud saying that goes:
“I found a fruitful world because my ancestors planted it for me. Likewise, I’m planting for my children.”
And then, I thought about the children yet to come.
As we awed the bounty, my husband said, “When they say windfall, this is what they mean.”
“Ahh,” I said. “This is what finding your purpose must feel like. Your seeds have been planted, you’ve grown, and now it’s time give back freely and effortlessly.”
This; however, is when I realized fruit trees are more evolved than humans.
Compared with apple trees, human purpose is still ephemeral.
Humanity is failing to do what the apple tree does so well — give back freely and effortlessly.
Instead, we are filling outer space with junk, oceans with junk, soils with junk, our homes with junk and our bodies with junk. The material resources we amassed in the West, and spread to the rest of the world, utterly failed to grow our hearts.
Our hearts, like apple trees, require specific inputs to bear fruit and give back. Where the apple tree needs soil and water, the human heart needs love and forgiveness.
It’s no wonder humanity does not want to accept our collective responsibility to give back to the land and to each other. Giving back takes effort and submission to God’s law.
Giving back, for humans, is laborious. So instead, we chose to keep extracting resources that will never produce good fruit. We send our shoots into every nook and cranny of the biosphere, the atmosphere, and the stratosphere.
Moreover, there are too many grandiose individuals in the world to count. Each one of them, failing to put their energies into producing fruit that gives back to life.
Shortly, even the most grandiose individuals, will grow too big for their roots. Predictably, they will topple over, the like a sunflower when its head is full of seeds.
It is our great shame.
We are addicted to growth, but ironically, our hearts are stunted, maybe more so now than at any other time in history.
We inhabit the natural world, but we don’t learn from it. This world has a natural law that it must follow. The apple tree cannot choose to grow peaches anymore than the bees can stop producing honey.
But unlike the apple tree, we are free to choose. The only law we have is God’s law and it is our choice whether we submit to it or not.
The way I see it, not only are we not submitting to God’s law, we are directly defying it. Even when means destroying future possibilities for the not-yet-born.
I’m not sure what the solution is for changing our ways, but I think the apple tree has some clues for us.
As a writer, I would like to understand better what my purpose is and how to give back freely. I think it has something to do with pursuing inputs of love and forgiveness at a time when the world seems filled with hate and judgement.
I want to write about my return to God and share the fruits of the journey back to my heart.
Alicia Keys in More Myself