You know that rich flavorful smell that erupts from an orange when you first cut into it?  It fills up your senses and makes you smile that something so small could contain such goodness. It makes everyone around you want some of that tasty orange too.

A year or so ago, I was leading a workshop for writers and I handed each of  them an orange and suggested that sometimes when we think we’ve written every word we can, or we think we’re totally tapped out of ideas, it might be possible to squeeze the orange just a bit more.  The use of the orange wasn’t original with me, but I liked the idea and we all talked about ways we could squeeze out a little more of our creativity when we thought the well was dry.

I wondered if that same truth, that same zesty orange concept, could apply to us when the well of life has gone dry and we’re miles from a fruit stand.  Some days, I’m sure there’s not even a remote chance of getting more out of me…no pulp, no rind, no food for thought anywhere.  But the truth is, there’s always more.   We live in a continual orchard of possibility.  All that changes is the way we see things, the way we direct our energy.

If you can ‘t see a new direction for yourself, roll that orange over to a friend or two and see if they have any fresh ideas for you, something that will get the juices flowing again. It might also help to give more thought to those gifts known as the fruit of the Spirit.  Think of each of those nine virtues as your own special oranges.  The oranges of goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and self-control are all part of who you are.  They will never dry up or be beyond your ability to draw from their sweet succulent life-giving flavor.  They will enhance your moments and offer you new remedies for change.

I recognize that we’re each doing an amazing juggling act, handling health issues, or family crisis, marriage woes, or finances, something that puts the squeeze on us and causes tension.  You may feel you need a crate of oranges to help you figure out what to say to your teenager or your spouse about something that has bothered you for years.

The good news is that in spite of how gloomy something can look, it’s not all gray.  Not to mix our citrus metaphors, but it’s the old lemons to lemonade adage.  If you put the orange in an industrial sized blender and turn it on high, maybe something new and different will emerge.  Maybe you’ll discover a new recipe for getting through the day and you’ll be energized in a new way.

Another incredible thing I’ve noticed is that when  I’ve used up everything I’ve got, someone comes along and gives me a new orange.  It’s not even Christmas and they hand me an orange right out of the blue.  How did they know I even needed it?  Perhaps I was sending out seeds of despair without realizing it or perhaps God in His infinite wisdom simply put them in my path.

I think I’ll buy a crate of oranges and keep them handy, some  for me and some to give away.  I know there’s a natural sweetness to life that God fully intended me to enjoy and it’s not all used up no matter how it looks today.  He’s given me the fruit of His Spirit, the gifts to enhance the flavor of life and enjoy its goodness.

You can say I’m putting the squeeze on you, if you’d like, because I am.  I’m thinking that a powershot of vitamin C might just do a body good.   We have it in us to give just a tiny bit more…one orange at a time.  So, here, I have a  zesty orange just for you.  Hugs and Squeezes today…

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