As I was taking my daily walk yesterday, I noticed some blackberries starting to turn ripe. I was tempted to walk over in the bushes and pick some. It made me think of a few stories about blackberries. Being a country girl and learning from my grandmother Marie, we picked quite a few berries. She would sell them by the gallon for $2 and make a little extra money. My mother and father taught me how to pick and find the bushes that harvested the biggest berries. These blackberries grow wild and most of the time is right in the middle of a briar patch. Did I happen to mention the little tiny critters called chiggers and ticks that come with the territory? If you ever go close to a blackberry patch you will be sure to not only to get a few briar scrapes but also bumps under your skin that will itch for days unless you cover them with fingernail polish. We kind of made blackberry picking a game and in which who could pick the most berries. My mother had told me that if you smell a stinkbug it means there is a snake around but grandmother had told me a snake smells like a cucumber. I don’t know about smelling anything and I guarantee if I ever saw a snake I sure wouldn’t smell of it.
When Lyle was four, he had his first experience picking blackberries. Mom told him to pick only the big black ones and then informed him to blow on it before he ate it. Now he was doing this quite well, plopping the berries in his mouth including the few red ones in which taste very bitter. I remember asking him why he blew on his berry and he said with this tiny little voice, “You have to blow on it because it is hot.” I laughed because the expression on his face was so serious yet his lips and teeth were covered with black stain. I had to explain the reason why you had to blow on them was to get tiny bugs off before plopping them in your mouth. It is a memory I will treasure. When I recalled this memory I often think of little ventures as this one that is upon extinction in our generation. Grandparents may be raising their grandchildren or parents raising children with one parent household. Everyone works and caretakers are the babysitter or daycare. The generation of today goes and gets blackberries at a local market or buys the cobbler instead of making it. Traditions can be handed down however we must realize the times change and what we thought was fun back then only looks like work to the younger generation now. Things are different but it doesn’t mean we cannot still pass down to our children the things that hold value.
What is value or importance or appreciation? What you teach your children will shape their generation in who they will become and who their children will become. Little things like blackberry picking may not seem like much yet in a child’s mind it may not be the blackberry picking that is important but the quality time spent together. Our heavenly Father wants to teach us so many things and spend time with us. We may not always understand why the things we do when He tells us to do them, but the end results will be a sweet savor in our mouth and a blessing we will always treasure.
Prayer: Jesus help me to find time with you today and help me to find those little sweet treasures as well as the joys of child-like faith trusting you even though we may walk into the briar patch.
Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. (NIV)
Jude 1:3 Beloved, while I was giving all diligence to write unto you of our common salvation, I was constrained to write unto you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints. (ASV)