A few weeks ago, I went on a trip to a new site, with a Professor, to one of Ibadan’s satellite towns called Ogunmakin, along Lagos-Ibadan expressway in Nigeria. When we finished what we had to do there, our host was very magnanimous to give us some of the fruits from his orchard; in particular, one whose name I would later find out to be Shaddock or Pomelo. On getting home, back in Ibadan, the Professor gave me one of the fruits and I just left it on the dining table at home for weeks.
One morning after much talk with a friend about including fruits in our diets more often, I decided to eat the one that has been on our dining table for weeks! First, I did not know how it is meant to be eaten. So, I started by cutting it into two halves so I can see what is inside. When it opened into two, I was amazed by the richness of color and aroma that came from the fruit; so, I started with eating it from the exposed pulp that my knife had cut through. It is indeed a good fruit!
However, this piece is about the lessons I saw, illustrated in nature, as I eat the fruit and I would like to share some with you.
1. Seed and ‘Bread’
The inside of the fruit is compartmentalized into two major parts. One is the part that is meant to be eaten and the other is the part that holds the seeds together. Unlike other citrus fruits, the seeds are not mixed up with what is to be eaten. Usually, those other citrus fruits, the seeds are often lost in the process of eating the fruit; most times, not totally accounted for, unlike in this case where it is separated from what is to be eaten.
Here I found a useful personal and resource management wisdom. It is indeed wise to separate what is to be invested from what is to be used in managing resources, be it time, people and finances.
A muddled-up resource would most likely be plagued by unaccountability. There is always the likelihood of losing investments opportunities because of consumption and the pleasure that comes from it.
2. Sweet and Bitter
Each capsule of this berry fruit, containing the sweet pulp, is wrapped in a thin film of tissue, which is so bitter! It seems like some sort of contradiction that in what is to be eaten is both the sweet and bitter part. Honestly, life is indeed like this capsule; packaged in every ‘food’, relationship and experience is both the sweet and bitter. To reach one part, one would have to deal with the other. Often times, the order is usually the bitter one before the sweet one.
It is interesting to note that past the thick cushion, through the bitter wrap, the sweet pulp is the farthest to reach in the core of the fruit and it is the sweetest. The sweetest part of people, places and things are usually in their core, you would need to get past all the unwanted part of them to reach it.
3. The Cushion
Generally, the fruit is not strongly held to the branches on the tree. A slight application of force and they would detach freely. So, in God’s awesome design considerations, He enveloped all its intricate details in a very thick wall of tissue, acting as a cushion. When the tender fruit falls from the tree, it is not damaged because of the cushion, unlike other citrus fruits, whose covering are somewhat harder and able to withstand the force of a fall.
If you are a tender person internally and eternally, you would need a lot of ‘cushion‘ on your outlook to protect you from the harsh realities of the environment. Just as it is not possible to change the nature of the ground from hard to soft, except the rain falls from heaven, a possibility that is also outside your control, it is not likely possible to change peoples’ responses to you. You would have to keep your buffer/cushion in place to deal with their realities. That buffer can be other people, who know how to interact with other people better than you do or systems that allow you to interact with them without much damage to who you are and what you have to offer.
It is wise to keep your design in place; all of what God has put in you (nature) are there for a reason. It is unwise to change your nature by nurture to become who you were not meant to be.
In all, nothing is more significant than the reason for who you have become or who you are becoming. How you manage yourself and the resources made available to you (time, people and finances) would hugely impact on the degree of value your life presents. God has done His part already, ours is to maximize what He has given to us to be productive with.