Someone commented recently how nice the vineyard looks right now. I just smiled and said ‘Thank you’. What I didn’t say was that this should be the most unsightly time in its yearly cycle. But they were right, it does look good. Since I cut away all the dead, diseased branches from the ravages of the summer’s fungus, life has reappeared and there is even a new crop of fruit on the vines. There may even be a harvest… in February! Which puts me in a bit of a dilemma. Normally I would be letting the vines go dormant now and prune away the dead branches in February. The vine needs the ‘down’ time when it doesn’t have to nourish fruit or support new growth. I was thinking just this morning how strange it seems and what a parable of life it is. This isn’t the way it is supposed to be. Its out of order really. My life can feel that way. Especially when I had it scripted another way. Many years ago a young Jewish girl was engaged to a man named Joseph. Betrothal and marriage was very scripted in that culture. She, like many girls before and since, had her own script. One that she had been writing in her head and heart as long as she could remember. Until one night the whole thing was changed and everything was out of order. All she had to hold on to was a promise. The Lord is with you! One thing remains: the promise has held true through many an altered script!