Last month I received a box of avocados in the mail from a dear friend with an avocado farm in Southern California. I grew up in California, so avocados are near and dear to my heart. As I savored the treat of those perfect avocados I began to think about their growing process, which I find fascinating. They start out looking like avocados from the very start, albeit very small, about the size of an olive. Over the course of about a year, the fruit grows larger and larger, until it is ready to be harvested. But the thing I really find interesting is that avocados will not ripen until they are harvested. While on the tree, the flesh of the avocado remains rock hard and inedible. It isn’t until they have been picked that their insides turn into anything that can be made into guacamole.
I think we’re more like avocados than we sometimes care to admit. We get into comfortable situations where we are definitely growing and progressing, but we haven’t realized our full internal potential. Sometimes we need to be “picked from the tree”—taken out of our comfort zones—before we can ripen into what God knows we can become. But oh, when that ripening occurs, miracles can happen! May we have the courage to face change this year with an open heart that we may ripen into our full potential.