Focusing growth

Grapevines love to grow. New shoots emerge from buds all over the vine, including from the old gnarled trunk and vine head. This week, we’ll prune the vineyard of sucker growth, removing all the new growth from the vine trunk. Growth untended in a vineyard produces lots of greenery and leaves, but draws valuable energy away from the grape clusters, ultimately harming the harvest, causing the vineyard to produce less fruit. My friend told me this sucker pruning will involve lots of kneeling. I’ll bring kneeling pads. I can already feel the painfully sweet burning sensation in my thighs after doing 5000 deep-knee bends, kneeling and standing up again for a full day as I sucker prune the vineyard. The metaphor is not lost on me. Kneeling work is part of prayer, one of the ancient body postures for prayer, expressing our bowed life of trust and humility before our loving God. As we kneel before God, our Vigneron (the One who cultivates the vineyard), our lives experienced focused growth, as we learn to remove some new growth in our life to keep what will grow even more fruitful.