We often encounter culture clashes here in Mexico. Although our neighbors geographically, the culture here is quite different. While in the States, we all want things to be attractive. I am no different; I love having my home decorated beautifully. I love the pretty drives through neighborhoods. In Mexico, however, that matters little. It's all about functionality here. People live in unfinished homes--because they were able to build that little bit and live there rent free and without debt. Ever wonder what we would actually see in the U.S. if our system worked that way? Thought-provoking, huh?
While I could write for a long time on that subject, this is another blog about my walks. We live in the heart of the avocado capital of the world. There are avocado orchards everywhere, including on my walks. Due to Covid, prices are down, so it hasn't been as lucrative the past couple years as it usually is. (1 tree can produce approximately 40 boxes of fruit, which generally sells for about $1,000.) This isn't Granny Clampet's black gold; it's green gold! People hire guards to keep people from sneaking in and stealing avocados.
Along the dirt road I walk on, there is a deformed avocado tree almost sticking out into the road. My first thought when I saw it was, "Wonder why that chopped off limbs instead of just taking the whole thing down and getting it out of the way?" Since I know this culture, it didn't take me long to sort that out. When an avocado tree quits producing, they chop of limbs--ALMOST cutting it down, and in so doing, the tree send forth new shoots. Within a couple of years it is once again producing a full harvest. What does it matter that it stick outs into the road? There are often 2 harvests a year, which translates into about $2000. Would YOU chop it down? Not me. You see, it's STILL FUNCTIONAL! Beauty has nothing to do with it.
But we live in U.S. culture, where beauty reins. I mean, look at this tree. I'd say it's "legs" are pretty ugly, and this gal can't cover it up with a skirt!!! But there that tree is--NO SHAME! IT'S FUNCTIONAL, PRODUCTIVE, WORTHY! It's as good as any perfect tree in the middle of the orchard.
I couldn't help but translate that to our ongoing struggle to measure up in our culture. The stakes are high to maintain beauty. There's nothing wrong with beauty. It's a gift of God. But the greater gifts are internal: productivity, generosity, kindness, and the list goes on and on!
Everyday when I walk past it, this tree challenges me to stand as tall as I can--as proudly as I can and utilize my God-given gifts. Yes, I have a responsibility to care for the body God gave me--but also to care for and use all the other marvelous gifts He gave me. Don't forget those in the journey to better health.
May you be encouraged and challenged as well.