I am a fresh fruit and vegetable snob and am in disarray if I do not have any in my house. That being said, sometimes I buy too much in an attempt to make certain that I am never without any. Recently I was out of one of the types of bell peppers I eat, so I trucked on over to Wal-Mart and mindlessly put them in the bag with the half eaten ones upon returning home. On Monday and Wednesday, I have class from 9:00 am until 3:45 pm with no breaks, so I bring my lunch with me. When I was preparing it the night before, I was appalled to see that my new pepper I purchased had begun rotting from the inside and the half eaten ones were a little too slimy and ripe for my taste.
While I was bummed about my veggies, I was thinking more on the fact how this was a demonstration of a life lesson that some learn all too late. The older peppers had begun to over ripen without me realizing it because they still looked fine. When I placed the new pepper in the same bag, not only do fruit and veggie bags force products to ripen faster, but I was also exposing it to older products, which causes fresh produce to begin to rot, the severity depending on the item. (Thank you Dr. Hassle in freshman year Chemistry.)
You’re probably thinking, how can that possibly relate to my life? Easy. Who do you hang out with? Do you surround yourself with uplifting people who have the same values as you or do you spend time with people who are causing the first stages of rotting in your soul? Whether you like it or not, you are a mixture of the people you fill your life with. You may think you’re “strong enough” to resist certain behaviors or lifestyles, but the truth is that the more you expose yourself to it, the easier it will be to succumb to their same principles.
These past few weeks in the Business School at Baylor, there has been an Ethics Forum. I have attended two meetings and the most recent one was Nancy Richards of First Preston HT. Her presentation was titled “Crossing the Rubicon.” The Rubicon is a small river in Northern Italy and is used in the previous statement by history buffs. There was a rule in Italy that if you fought battles outside the country, you could not come back in. Julius Caesar marched his troops over that river in North Italy, which is where it gets its reference. Though the Rubicon is tiny, crossing it has large effects. Today, “Crossing the Rubicon” is a metaphor of an act that once you start it, it cannot be taken back; even if you were to retreat, what happened would still cause blood. Well today, that blood is more theoretical than literal, but it can cause more loss than death in most cases.
Nancy discussed how she had to make ethical decisions in her business and gave many examples of how she could have easily crossed the Rubicon, but didn’t. In some cases. it caused her company monetary losses, but in the end, she came out better than she was before even though she left certain people or even business to her company, in the dust.
The decisions we make are directly related to our ethics, which is influenced by the people we put in our lives. In Layman’s terms, if you hang with the dogs, you’re gonna catch some fleas. Doing what’s right is not always the easiest path, but God blesses us when we obey Him. Harbor the fruits of the spirit, for they never go bad.
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 1 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” Matthew 7:15-20
“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Luke 6:43-45