It began with a simple meditation, sparked from a commonly used colloquialism, dropped by a dear colleague. The image of the blessed lemon tree in the garden of Eden centered in my mind’s eye. I found myself sitting underneath it thinking, “well one is certainly handed more lemons if they keep themselves under lemon trees ” …. I heard a voice say lemons were never intended to be attached to the experience of disappointment. Yes, Beloved, lemons are simply lemons. Yet, if we fail to appreciate the difference amongst citrus and expecting the sweetness of an orange, or even the tangy delight of lime, get a lemon, that is quite disappointing.
You see, in an unripe stage all these citrus look very similar, a point lost on my supermarket generation.
So I imagine receiving the gift of citrus in its unripened stage can be quite confusing, but we need only look carefully, with a discerning eye, or wait for a point of ripeness (divine timing) to have seen what type of citrus it was all along. Then we can enjoy it for what it is, in the way we can, while we can.
I’ll share a bit of a personal example. A while ago I worked on a project, there were some mistakes made early on and despite the rest of my work being exceedingly above the expectation, I was taken off the project. I did feel disappointed that in that early, unripe stage, it was decided there was high risk of me being a “lemon of a fit”, or, in other words, something other than what was requested, not quite right. However, the more I meditated on our fit throughout the week, I agreed with the decision. Not because I/it was a lemon and stated otherwise, but because it wasn’t what I/it was looking for. I often thought of the project as the closest thing to what I wanted that I could possibly get and it was clear at the time that they couldn’t support me to overcome my mistakes. The lesson here, taught by the discerning lemon hunter is: almost is not enough, a golden experience, yes, a great time, yes, a great accomplishment even, but by very definition, almost is NEVER enough. Why settle for something that isn’t quite right when what we desire is so attainable! If we want orange, we got orange, if we want lemon, we got lemon, like it or not in these times we even have genetically modified mash ups and kid friendly cuties!
Besides the almost factor, when we are getting what we want, or if we are told if it’s lemon upfront, then we can prepare to receive all lemons have to offer. Lemons are a great cleanser, when mixed with water it’s juice is actually akalizing, lemons have many many benefits. The rich flavor of lemon, sour and tart, are included in the range of flavor that we are granted ability to experience and even enjoy. I know not everyone genuinely intends the lemons they give as gifts and I don’t deny the intention to swindle or rob even, however I am concerned that we have limited our range of joy to the sugary sweet craze that floods our shelves. Beloved, let’s take time to exercise our taste and understand that greatness often comes when we fully utilize what we’ve been given be it lemon, orange, illness, or illnessto our uplift rather than limit it’s use to the givers intent.