My Ink Dance

Discovering Extraordinary Grace in an Ordinary Life

The Bowl & the Tree

When I face the possibility that I have made church an idol in my life, I can’t help but look at what things I do in the name of God. After all, church is good and I did that in the name of God. What if there are other things I do in the name of God without God?

photo credit: pinterest

photo credit: pinterest

But serving God is good, right?

We have two choices: the bowl or the tree.

We can walk around carrying a fruit bowl handing out acts of service and love. The fruit will be beautiful and delicious. People will even appreciate it and praise us for our willingness to give. It will feel good most of the time.

But, at some point that bowl will begin running low. We may not even notice because we are so busy giving and giving and giving. One day we will reach in and our hands will be met with emptiness. The fruit will run out and we will be left empty, wondering what went wrong and where to go from here.


We can stand still. We can be a tree. Maybe it’s a small tree, but it stands nonetheless. We push deep into the soil, our roots becoming entwined with that which gives us life.

We can go seasons, even years without a single piece of fruit. But the work that’s being done is no less important. Our roots drive deep into the heart of God. And then He can use us, in His season, to bear fruit. We can give wholly and completely until our branches are in fact bare.

How are these scenarios different then? If we are giving completely until we are empty, where is the difference?

When we carry the bowl, we end up empty. We have to search and work for more in order to give more.

But when we are the tree, we rest for a season. And we wait. And we allow God to do the work that bears the fruit in our lives. There is no off season. We are always pushing deeper into Him, growing and resting in Him until just the right time to bear new fruit.

I don’t want to spend my life carrying around a bowl of finite love. I want to spend my days pushing deeper into Him, winding myself around the very depths of Him, until He brings forth seasons of growing, giving, and resting.

We have a choice. To carry the bowl or be the tree. Which will you choose?

About Becky Hastings

I am emotional and logical. I am strong and dependent. I am a juxtaposition of head and heart exploring it all through writing. And in all my mixed-up ways I am loved. I'm here to tell you that you are, too. Just the way you are.

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