Yesterday morning I was sitting in the dining room of the Hilton, waiting for breakfast to be delivered to my table, while I looked around at all the foliage in the area. The dining area was open to the lobby, which was designed as a two-story atrium. Very pleasant.
Most of the foliage was real.
However, as I glanced at the two trees nearest to my table, what to my wondering eyes should appear but apples hanging from the branches. Apples?
Dusty plastic apples.
Suddenly I realized that skillfully placed among the genuine ferns, potted palms, ficus trees, and vines, were two fake apple trees.
Truly, I have no idea why someone thought this was a good idea. But given the size of these two fake apple trees, they must have cost a pretty penny; so likely someone thought they were a good idea at some point.
I was just checking out of the hotel after spending two and a half days at a women's conference, headlined by a nationally known speaker on women's issues, their relationship with God and with one another. It was a pretty good conference.
If one did not allow oneself to become overly distracted by the strobe lights, a worship band that could blast praise into the stratosphere, and five thousand clapping women - there was a lot of good to be absorbed. Admittedly, I am an introvert and that much razz-ma-tazz wears on my nerves; so I tried to stay focused on the content and ignore the delivery system. (Yes, I am an odd duck, I know.)
Nevertheless, I was reminded of another setting many years ago, wherein someone referred to "pink plastic Christianity." There is still some of that around. You know how hard it is to destroy plastic - it will last a hundred years in a landfill - or so I have read.
Still, most of what I saw and heard these past three days was genuine and potentially helpful. And I truly enjoyed the fellowship of the women I traveled with from my local church. That was a bonus.
So here is my point. You can place a really good looking fake tree in the midst of a beautiful garden setting. But you just cannot get real fruit from a fake tree. Can't be done. Just saying ...
I do not know which women were "real" and which were "fake" at the conference. I just want to pay attention to the lumber in my own eye, so that I do not inadvertently find myself in the latter category. I have been around long enough to know that I am easily as capable of being a phony as the next lady.
I really want to avoid becoming a dusty plastic apple on a fake tree. Don't you? Until next time ~ your former fruit inspector, Marsha # # # # # # # # # #
Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.. (Matthew 7:20 NIV)