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Burned Out

When you look at the photo what do you see? Do you see foliage green and lush, blooms that are preparing to turn into lumpsous fruit dangling down ready to be picked and enjoyed by all? Or do you see a bunch of sticks of various sizes bare and lifeless? This is what burnout looks like.

Everyone who could has taken the fruit and consumed it. No one has tended to the trees needs. The tree gave all it had. For a time the tree was full of life and produced a bountiful crop feeding those near it. But the years of giving have taken their toll. Over the years the soil has been depleted of nutrients and, year after year, the tree produced less fruit. Without fresh water, clean air, and nutrients for the soil, the tree slowly began to die.

A tree doesn't die all at once unless it is chopped down or burned by a forest fire. A tree will dies slowly over years and even decades. It becomes weak and vulnerable to parasites and pests and will first show signs of sickness. Some branches will stop producing fruit and even leaves won't bloom. More and more branches will become ill and will start to die. Parts of the tree that are stealing the nutrients and water will stay green, but they will produce less fruit and what is produced will not be a big or as tasty as years before. If those who take from the tree do not notice the tree is changing, they will assume the tree will produce as in the past and will begin demanding more and better fruit because they miss what they had before. Yet, they do nothing to help the tree produce and give nothing to the tree to help. The tree finally reaches a point where it cannot meet the demands and gives up hope and will give what it can until it can't anymore. Then it will die.

The ones who took all the tree had to give will eventually find another tree to take from.

I see this happening to families all the time. The one who produces the fruit does all the work and takes all the responsibility for taking care of those around them. The ones who eat the fruit take no responsibility for anything and are not bound by any expectations that they produce anything. If you want so see the tree continue to provide there must receive nourishment, support, and care. Tend to those who give to you the sustenance of life and you'll receive a lifetime of care in return.

16 "By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them."

Matthew 7:16-23


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