My life verse has always been John 15:5, I am the vine, you are the branches, he who abides in me and I in him will bare much fruit. Apart from me you can do, nothing. Throughout the year the Lord has been taking me even deeper in into this verse. This last year we have been putting into practice a style of teaching called Thomas Jefferson Education. The premises is that the student dictates what they want to learn when they are ready to do it. I as the parent/teacher watch for the teachable moments. We read classics to learn character, learn about cultures, and to learn about ourselves. Every so often I sit down with each of our kiddo’s and we discuss what is working well in their school day and what isn’t working so well. In these meetings we talk about what they are interested in, their dreams, desires, passions. Then we tailor their learning to what they love and are interested in. This style of teaching also has three phases: core, love of learning, and scholar. Core is a very important phase, it is vital to not skip this phase. It is vital to the emotional and mental stability of the student, having a solid core will teach the students the discipline and tools they will need when they are ready for the scholar phase. The next phase is love of learning, this is the phase were the student dapples in this and that. During a school day you will see them reading a chapter, then going to color, they might come back to the same book and keep reading, or they may decide to bake something, clean something, or sit down and talk to you. It often times looks like they are not learning anything, however, what I have learned is TONS of learning is happening. Core and Love of learning go hand in hand and the student will often times go back and forth between the two quite often and you will wonder which one they are in, that’s because they are actually in both. The third and final phase is scholar. Scholar is when the student hones in on one passion. Whether it be training a pet, learning to bake, fixing a car, you will start finding the scholar is able to stay at one task for hours on end. It may seem they have no other objective at the moment and this may very well be the case, because they are working so hard on one passion, dream, or desire.
I have come to the conclusion that the most important phase is the core phase. The Lord has shown me that taking the Ultimate Journey has been a crash course in beginning to heal my core. It has given me the tools to deal with the deep, deep anger in my life. This anger was because I had so many hurts in my life. When I was able to admit I was angry, then I could deal with the hurt, when I was able to feel the pain and let it out, I was then able to take responsibility for the hurt I had caused myself and others through the anger and pain I felt. The Lord has healed and continues to heal my core. I find myself now between the core phase and dappling in the love of learning. My daughters dance studio offered a moms dance camp this summer. I was so very excited, because I have wanted to take dance classes my whole life. I have been waiting to express myself in this way. It has been so freeing and so amazing. I have learned to laugh at myself. The biggest break through came through hip hop. There was one move I could not master for the life of me and I looked like I was convulsing instead of dancing. I have always struggled with not being able to process information and in the middle of the dance I just about sat down and cried. In that moment the Holy Spirit said, Robin admit you can’t do it, ask me for help. So, I did, and it was amazing. When I admitted I couldn’t do it on my own, the Lord was gracious and all of a sudden I understood what I was suppose to do! It wasn’t the most beautiful movement, but I understood it and could do it to the best of my ability! I wanted to jump up and down, I wanted to shout, “Lord, I got it”. All these years and I finally got it. I cannot do life on my own, ask for help! Admit I can’t do it.
What does all this have to do with John 15:5? The first part of the verse says, ‘I am the vine’. What is the purpose of a vine? To hold the plant up! All plants need nutrients and water, it’s very survival is dependent on the vine. You could call the vine “the core”, the foundation of the plant. The second part of the verse says, ‘you are the branches’. The branch can only be as healthy as the vine is, if the branch has a sick or lack of nutrient vine the fruit, if it bears any, will be sick and possibly unedible. The reason Jesus is our branch is because no human on this earth could ever be the perfect vine. We as humans fail, we are sick with sin, that is why it is so important to not get who we are from other humans. If we allow humans to be our vine we will always be sick, our individual core or branch will be depressed, joyless, and we will always wonder why. But, when Jesus is our vine, he is perfect peace, he is joy, he is able to love perfectly. That is the kind of nutrients a healthy human core needs! It’s what my core needs to have the confidence to be able to do anything well. The next part of the verse says, ‘if you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit’. Having a healthy core gives me the confidence to learn hip hop and to slide down a water slide not caring if I mess up or belly flop. When I ask Jesus to be my vine, my branch becomes a perfect pure branch. When I got through weeding through the hurt I began to be able to believe God and his word. When I began believing Abba, the fruit began to grow the confidence to hip hop and slide down a water slide. I began to live out the freedom “the vine” gave me. It has become loving to learn and not getting frustrated at the hard parts, because I can now admit that I can’t do anything on my own. Leading us into the last part of the verse, ‘apart from you I can do nothing’. When I was able to stop and say I can’t process this dance, I can’t get the timing right, I CAN’T DO THIS. That’s when the Lord was able to bring me clarity. But, I had to admit I didn’t have it all together, I had to admit I was a mess, I had to risk looking like a fool to find freedom. But, you know what, I didn’t look like a fool. When I admitted I needed help, that’s when the help could come, because before that I wouldn’t have been able to hear what Abba or any other human was trying to teach me. My pride would have gotten in the way. I had to remove myself, I had to let go of control and yell, “I can do nothing on my own”!
God has been teaching me so much, it is humbling, and I am ready for it. I am ready to lay down any control I think I have for the wisdom of the perfect vine. I am ready and willing to admit I can do nothing on my own, I never have and I never will. John 15:5 in Robinese, “Jesus is the healer, the anger management, peace, joy, love, I am the vessel, the tool he uses to teach and show his healing, peace, joy, and love. When Jesus and I hang out together I can do all things through him, apart from him I will belly flop, so to have a peaceful dive I must always abide!”
I pray that you will allow Jesus to become your vine, your core healer, the joy giver that allows peace to flow into your life that gives you freedom on earth and in heaven. Amen!