The last week has been interesting in the fact that it is so foreign to me. Things that are occurring and happening are not things I am used to encountering. So hearing a variety of view points is interesting.
One of the topics this week had to do with responsibility. When something occurs who is responsible? Where does accountability fall? You would be amazed at the answers! Folks, I come from the place, “you jump over the candle and burn your butt you wear the blister”. With that said I am seeing more and more people without a clue. Living life thinking the world owes them a living. Common decency seems to be slipping away. (But I know we can change it!)
The last few weeks, I and others have been on the topic of process. Yesterday I spoke of wine. Today I would like to add to the process of timing the portion of wine making that is known as maceration. Maceration is often accomplished by a water soak. This is a long period of time. Weeks is not unusual. During this time tannins and coloring seep from the grapes. Flavor is released and fermentation (the producing of the alcohol) begin to happen.
Why is this important to you? To the topic of responsibility?
In the word of God it talks about the “washing by the word”. One of the ways we can wash the feet of another is by our encouragement and the word of God. The process of maceration sees the believer being set in water and flavor being released. Does this part of the process feel good? If you read about the actual process, you will see this is where pictures of feet stomping grapes (Remember Lucy and Ethel?) is important. Getting all the grapes into the mix. To release all that they have.It is very similar to a tea bag sitting in hot water. But too long and the wine has the potential of becoming bitter, dark and harsh.
It is part of the process. Where in wine the solids are left behind, in our lives the things it can represent indicate tremendous change. It speaks to transformation. Not conformed, but being transformed. A total change as we walk towards perfection.
It is in this place where responsibility is seen. A life transformed will never act as it once was. No longer can a grape be seen as a round entity but all it has been is no longer. A life touched by God can never be the same. The word maceration speaks to softening, being steeped. This week I witnessed the “harshness” of a life untouched by God. No softening, no allowing for change. The result was not pretty. My words need to heal and bring life.
I talked to a friend about it. He said “we need to realize there is a generation growing up who do not see responsibility as an attribute. We need to prepare for it.” The upshot was we got into a heated debate.
I am not one to give up. To let go. A generation is in the balance. I see it everyday. I see young people unable to face reality. Older people hoping they make it out of here “safely”. I hear daily conversations about “its not my fault. Someone else did it.” It is a “wake up” call to me. I think part of our maceration process as a believer is being mashed with others, till the result no longer resembles an individual but is “poured” off in a transformation of life. The resulting change pleasant in taste, color and flavor.
Community is coming. Will you allow for the transformation? Will you allow for the change. Or will you act like the lone grape on a branch that birds feed on? Part of our responsibility as believers is to be in community and be part of the change. That alone, is one of the greatest responsibilities we can undertake.
Men are like wine – some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age. Pope John XXIII