I got out in the vineyard yesterday evening for the first time in eight weeks. Up close and personal, pruning snips in hand. I’ve passed through it before but not with the intention of looking closely at anything. The truth is its a mess. I can see that from a distance. Its the kind of mess you know is there and don’t really want to get close to so you pass by but don’t really look. Here’s another truth: until you really look and decide to get out there, the mess isn’t going away. If anything, the thing that made it a mess is going to make a worse mess. So I confronted the mess. Not only the lost dead fruit and dry lifeless leaves all gone before their time, but the loss and disappointment they represent; that which I really didn’t want to see. I confess that whenever I’m in the vineyard I’m talking and listening though I may appear to be alone. I trust that God listens when I speak and I trust what God says when God speaks. Its myself I have to careful of. I shouldn’t always listen to myself. What I found yesterday is that when something goes wrong you have to be careful how you explain it to yourself and definitely don’t paint the picture with a broad brush. This isn’t always going to be this way. It isn’t all my fault. And even though it may feel like it sometime, everything around me isn’t falling to the ground and drying up. It may not be pretty but it is a temporary result of a situation that was beyond my control. Everything is not beyond my control. I can watch it deteriorate from a distance or I can get out there and begin cleaning up the mess believing that Scarlet was right. Tomorrow is another day. I had enough stamina at the end of the day to clean up one vine. Only one. I told myself on the way to the house that one is a good start.