It's blackberry season in the lower peninsula! (I realize there may be people out there who only equate the name "blackberry" with an electronic device. If you are one of them, please do some research before reading further or you will be quite confused.)
Wednesday afternoon we all picked some from behind church. They grow wild on the hillside. I'm told there's a thornless variety of the plant. These apparently don't exist in our area. You do have to be quite careful or your clothes will get snagged and your arms will be full of scratches. (Oh, and on top of it there was another plant mixed in amongst some of the blackberry vines that stung and left a welt on your arm--the stinging lasts for the better part of a day.)
But if you're willing to brave the plants, the fruit of your labour (pun intended) is worth it. Beth made a delicious blackberry crumble that evening.
It reminds me a little of spiritual disciplines. I know all about them, but I'm really bad at it when it comes to the practice of things like praying, fasting, meditating, memorizing, etc. Discipline is the key word. I'm not always that disciplined at things. Being disciplined means going through some effort (like working to avoid the thorny vines). But I know that the fruit of my labour will be worth it as they aid me in my quest to know God more intimately.